"when a maintainer of twelve years' standing wants out of the GNU project, that suggests that there are some serious governance problems." Honestly, it doesn't suggest this any more than it suggests the opposite, and when you throw that bit of conjecture into an article that is mostly written in a factual reporting style, it gives it a ton of credibility that it doesn't deserve and makes me quite offended, whereas I wouldn't care one bit to read that statement as someone's comment.
Whenever you have an internet based project with hundreds of people involved, there is guaranteed to be disagreements, and guaranteed people will want to leave, even those who have been around. It doesn't suggest problems in the project any more than it suggests there are NOT problems in the project.
I feel I am equally likely to find out that in comparison to self-governed projects, GNU has a lot less governance problems overall, and even in this case, the process of dealing with with the problem is working out better than some horrible cases of self governed projects that imploded and had other problems. I don't know if that's the case, but I expect far better from the author here.