The stories I hear leave me scratching my head. This isn't the Linus I knew back in the day. I guess all the fame and all of that must have gone to his head.
Or perhaps the job of dealing with people that you didn't hired and you can't fire is getting on his nerves.
Linus don't control strictly his workforce, he must deal with people hired by others - something as a matrix organizational structure. All he can do is to accept or reject the commits, and this is something merely reactive, not pro-active. And it's always expensive, if not in money, in effort and time.
Being stuck with a not so cooperative coworker that you don't control is enerving. I'm currently switching jobs for this exact reason: *ONE* coworker that I can't fire was cooperating less than I needed, but I still had full responsibility on the results.
I can't just imagine what it would be with thousands.