Wilson was stood down as head coach on Monday in the aftermath of the club’s 76-14 defeat by Leinster in Dublin. It was their fifth loss in a row, a run of results described as “not acceptable” by the Warriors managing director, Al Kellock.
Townsend, who coached Glasgow between 2012 and 2017, expressed sympathy for Wilson whom he brought to Scottish rugby as the national side’s forwards coach in 2018.
“It was obviously a shock,” said the Scotland head coach. “We were actually in a meeting at the time, on Monday, when it was announced. None of us knew about it.
“I feel very disappointed for Danny. We are aware these things happen in sport, but it was a shock to us all.
“You feel very much for the person, Danny, who had put a lot of time and effort in. I know what head coaching at club level is like – it is a massive demand on you and you make sacrifices with that.
“Everybody is disappointed for Danny it has ended this way.”
Townsend has a close relationship with the pro teams who supply the majority of players to the national side but he doesn’t expect to be involved in choosing the new Glasgow coach.
“No, I don’t believe I will be,” he said. “That will obviously be Mark [Dodson, Scottish Rugby Unions chief executive], Jim [Mallinder, SRU performance director] and Al [Kellock] – he is in charge of Glasgow.”
Townsend has picked 14 Glasgow players for the summer tour to South America and is unsure how the news of Wilson’s departure will have affected them.
“We will see,” said the coach. “I have not spoken to individuals since the announcement but we were more concerned with where they would be after the [Leinster] defeat at the weekend.
“But we get the strong impression that players can’t wait to come back into camp and back to the Scotland environment.”
The Scotland squad is due to meet up on Wednesday for a three-day training camp then fly out to Chile the following Monday.