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Normally users are deactivated once they leave - so that their content stays intact (this would be done during the synch with AD). They then become impossible to find in search or in the People tab - but their content will still show up in search and if someone visits the content and then clicks the user name, they will go to the profile which has a [deactivated] after the name of the user.
If you are synching user data with AD, you could also add a profile field called "Status" and have it be ACTIVE or NOT ACTIVE which would also display on the profile page and could even be in the hover card.
As per Michelle's answer and specifically in relation to GDPR; once a user is deactivated you cannot find them via search however their name is still intact and mentioned on any of their content. In my opinion this does not meet the Right To Be Forgotten regulation as the person is still personally identifiable in the system.