I can't speak to professors, or even institutions in general, but my general impression of any applied or even just quasi-pure field in academia is that what gets called "research" these days is not all that different in motivation, funding, competition, or social structure, than what you'd be doing at a tech startup anyway.
It really comes down to the fine details, and I'm not surprised that many people are jumping ship. I doubt it's even just the money overall (though i'm sure it plays a huge part in some cases). Academia is coasting on a self-delusional mirage. I really wish that there were more, or any, of these ivory towers the conservatives whine about.