Here I asked myself this question. As far as I know, Linus Torvalds is the main coordinator of the Linux project. It depends on his personal decision to include some proposed changes in the kernel code. In addition, he seems to have rights to the Linux brand itself. Suppose something happened to him (God forbid, but we all walk under God). What then will be with the Linux project? Who will take and generally has the right to take the lead on this project?
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I think there will be no problems. Although Linus coordinates the core, he has a whole network of assistants (like Generals and Lieutenants called), who clearly know their duties). For example, there are people who support the current kernel (what is in production) and so on. Therefore, most likely it will be just like in the Vatican - Generals will gather and nominate a leader.
Buses are considered dangerous , this story is from Python , then the Python Software Foundation (PSF) was created. Source Mark Lutz - Programming in Python. 4th edition. Volume I p. 83
PSF was preceded by PSA, a group that was originally formed in response to the half-serious discussion that had long arisen in the Python teleconference: “What happens if Guido gets under the bus?”
In Linux, a similar situation, there is a community that develops, and Linus directs it. Enough to read Linus's interview for 2012, the benefit of their 2-3