Since this link got posted twice, I'll post my response twice ...
It's a testament to the success of Torvalds's open-source ideas... While Torvalds still oversees any changes made to the innermost core of Linux...
There is some truth to the idea that Linux is prepared to continue it's development without a hitch if Linus were to be run over by a truck tomorrow, but the "benevolent dictator" concept of protecting the kernel is probably an important thing, and I hope plans to continue it in one form or another are in place.
A project this big which depends on a single person is on thin ice, indeed. That is my biggest concern about distros like Slackware and Ubuntu which are built around the vision and policies of one person. It's a "tribal" organization rather than a corporate one. That's one of the reasons, I choose Debian as my distro. Ian Murdock is long gone from active direction, and the model has proven it can survive his loss.