The article does not say so explicitly, but these publishers seem to be assuming that they can release 4 months later at the same list price as the hardcover. They are relying on Amazon to continue to take a hit on these titles and offer them at $9.99.
If publishers want to experiment with 4 months later at a lower list price (i.e. less income for them and their authors per sale), this is an approach that has an outside chance of working. I think 4 months later and sky high list prices is very likely to fail.
Either way, the authors of these titles are going to loose money due to the publisher's games. I think this is where the "we need to do this now" comes from, publishers know this is going to loose money for these titles but if only 5-10% of early sales are from ebooks perhaps their authors won't scream too loudly about the money the publishers are taking out of their pockets. Publishers are not in the business of enriching authors, but if I was one of the authors they screwed in this way I would look for another publisher.