Best of luck to him
He may not be as rich as Bill G (who was reportedly also v. foul mouthed at times), but should have as much or more respect.
The only thing he should have done imo is to have a named 'understudy' in place a couple of years ago.
You need something like that- after all he could (literally) have fallen under a bus etc and on a project like this you cannot really just stop while the new person learns the ropes.
Hope the new person understands that.