and even leadership opportunities
I certainly would not be doing that, I could see myself working for free in my current position if I could just do the SW related stuff, but all the crud I seem to have to deal with from marketing/program management types because they can't be bothered to learn our product would be right out as would any tier one customer support.
I'd love to be able to just fix all the known bugs that never get attention because they're not understood by management or implement automated testing on a larger scale.
I don't understand why people with significant wealth would want to run a company or organization rather than work on the project directly, but each to his/her own.
Um, because senior leadership is basically just fixing bugs and optimizing space/time/resources at the scale of the company rather than at the project/code level?
Now, most senior leaders suck at this just like most programmers suck at their jobs. That's just a fact of life. But if you luck into a good leader...
Maybe they listen to you about the crud you have to deal with from program management types. Then they think hard, figure out the correct metrics, run a few tests on current projects, come up with a better implementation, and get it adopted (i.e. pushed to production.) It takes a year, but the organization is better in the end (well, except to some project managers who were doing the wrong thing to begin with.)