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In the late 70s I worked as a compiler development lead at Control Data. I've kept in contact with many of them because one of the developers has held a New Years reunion party every year for the last couple of decades. Most stayed as developers through the years. It was and is a very talented group of people who ended up at companies like Google and Yahoo. You wont find an ex-CDC clump anywhere, because the ended up as singletons at later generation companies. It's not that they moved out of development; they are dispersed in a much larger pool of developers.

The phenomenon used to exist 30 years ago and may still exist at companies behind the leading edge. The highest engineering salary was near the lowest managerial salary, so if an engineer wanted to get a salary increase, s/he had to become a manager. But even in 70s CDC had established a separate technical salary track so good engineers didnt have to become bad managers.

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