In Margin Call (2011), Eric Dale is portrayed as a very competent quantitative analyst (and engineer "by trade") with 20-years experience in the firm. He seems to have come up with his own novel predictive model for the volatility of the firm's asset prices. And his model seems to outperform the existing ones--that's how the firm starts realizing what's going on, the night after his dismissal. (Maybe he should publish that model in a peer-reviewed journal, after losing his job!)
But even without considering his above-average competence, as he himself says: "Head of risk management does not seem the natural place to start cutting jobs."
So why did they do it to him in the first round of dismissals?