Doubting Bro makes an excellent and often-overlooked point. The local BOE was in many cases detested by the old CO/DO arrangements, as he says.
I think this may go all the way back to the original days of "elders" and "rotation of elders". Especially hated by the power elite was the idea that each local elder took his turn as PO - it was just way too democratic for all those previous congregation servants who thought they had a lifetime arrangement, and who had sucked up to the CO/DO elite so long to get it.
What I think we saw back in this era - late 1970s, early 1980s - was almost a ripple effect from the trimming back of the Presidential powers of Freddy, and starting the Governing Body. This act of democracy extended out into the congregations as Body of Elders. Freddy hated it - and a lot of the elite local elders hated it, along with the CO/DO. Remember when it got said around that "the CO is really only just another elder?" - and then there was a flurry of coverup that the CO was "more than just another elder" a while later.
I knew several respected elders back in the "rotation" days who had the cynical view that it was just a way to shake up all the congregations organizationally, and that the society through the CO/DO arrangement was just going to reappoint the standard servants as before, but with new suits. Indeed that is what actually happened.
Another aspect of the big rush to the "elders" was that a few years after the big apostacy, a sort of "elder purge" took effect - a number were removed, sometimes on very thin evidence. One popular charge was "in-sincerity" - it was almost a catchword for "not enough field service time" or "we don't like you".
Again and again we have seen the Society make lip service to a more open, democratic, and liberal organization - and the anti-progressive forces crack down to make the final result even more authoritarian than what existed before the reform. I somehow feel there may be more to this CO/DO reorg than is being leaked out to us at the present time.