I am a technical lead in a medium-sized company managing a team of just over 50 developers. We have many senior and mid-level developers and a few juniors. One of our junior developers has been working with us for nearly a year now and he's a good team player; even though he lacks experience he tackles challenges head-on and has a positive can-do attitude. He is exceeding in all of his tasks and I have no doubt he has a bright future ahead of him.
However annual reviews are coming up and this is where everything is taken into account, not only in terms of performance but also the person’s goals for the future. In my last meeting with senior management they have told me that they intend to fire this junior developer. Knowing how well he is doing, I objected and defended him giving many examples of the contributions he has made. The only reason management gave me is that "we need someone more senior to perform tasks quicker" and that "money is not an issue, if we need to pay more for a senior we will". They have told me to break the news to the junior developer and give him his notice period beginning of next week.
I think they are making a mistake and that this developer should be kept. I really hate telling someone they are going to be let go as I have been on both sides of this before and it's not a good feeling. Is there something more I could do to ensure his future at this company?
I have told management that I am not happy doing this to the junior developer so someone from management will do it instead, they agreed it was not part of my role. Thanks for the responses, yes I will write him a recommendation and give glowing references as that is what he deserves he has done fantastic work during his time at the company and it's sad that he won't be with us anymore. As for the real reason why he's being let go I could be here all day speculating but long story short, it's unclear.