Is Fred Anderson the financial equivalent of George Tenet? I think he might just be.
For the uninitiated, Anderson is the former Apple CFO who currently is a managing director with Elevation Partners. He recently agreed to pay back the SEC a few million dollars to settle an options backdating suit (without admitting guilt), and then made a public statement that accused Steve Jobs of having been aware of – and having promised to take care of – the options grant in question.
Assume everything Anderson said in his statement was accurate. Similarly, assume everything Tenet has been saying is accurate (save for some specific dates, it seems). In both cases, you have men who feel they were thrown under the bus by their superiors – and have responded by attempting to return the favor. They both assume a modicum of responsibility, but say the real problem is that the person above them didn’t pay enough attention.
This misses the real point: It was their job to make the key issues heard and to act if said issues were being ignored. In other words, either fix it or resign publicly. The buck can stop at multiple stations along the track.