The example at hand was netflix... The bulk of the platform seems pretty stable to me. If they are rewriting their best code every 2-3 years that'd be a red-flag to me.
We did things like incrementally rewrite a million-line binary from C++ into Java while it was running, or completely change the indexing system from batch processing to continuous updating, or grow the number of documents indexed from about 80B to 1T. There's a huge iceberg of development that you don't see, much of which has to do with scalability (you generally have to rewrite every time a key metric grows by a factor of 10) and much of which is experimental, trying out new features to see what resonates with the userbase.
There were some pragmatic reasons though. It's very difficult to multithread C++ correctly, while Java at least has a proper memory model and thread support (note that this was before C++11; at the time C++ had no standardized memory model at all). Debugging core dumps in production sucked. Most of the newer parts of the company (GMail, Docs, Google+, etc.) were written in Java, and the rewrite let us share code with them. Compile times sucked, and Java let us pluginize the architecture, load code at runtime, and build & push each component team's codebase independently (as well as shut them off independently if they started crashing).