I think it is a good plan to make Perl faster, but I'd rather they pitch in and help Johnathan Worthington with the Perl6 (now Raku) effort. Perl5 is a good language, but there isn't enough to get me to switch from Python. Raku on the other hand is very cool and I can see the benefit.
Perl6 (now Raku) isn't just a version change from Perl5, but is an entirely new and powerful language. It seems to have pulled some of the best aspects of Python, Ruby, Perl, and some things from Haskell/Lisp.