Re: Good for them
"Are you a Google auto-shill?" No.
"Entrenched management are a proven destroyer of shareholder value." Incompetent management of any stripe is a proven destroyer of shareholder value. I point you to the oft-cited example of Steven Elop. Alphabet's current management have at least demonstrated that they can produce effective results, and they've done so by often bucking the conventional wisdom.
"Activist investors..." There are different types of activist investors; some want a quick buck, while others want to drive long-term profitability. In both cases, there's usually some pain involved, but sometimes that pain leads to long-term viability, and sometimes it leads to cutting the patient up for parts. Page and Brin had to play ball by listing Google publicly, but I don't think it was their first choice, for exactly the reasons mentioned in the article, so they're choosing to play by the letter of the law rather than the spirit. If you look back to the time when Google went public, part of the reason for doing so was that they had so much money in the bank, they practically counted as one, so they had to either spend money or go public.
"If the SEC had any balls, they'd stamp on all of this sort of management entrenchment." Why? In what conceivable way does it benefit the public to have the government tell private corporations how to run themselves, as long as they're behaving lawfully? You know what companies are run the way you advise? Large banks. HP. IBM. They're just paragons of effectiveness and efficiency, aren't they?