The nice thing about having the support of a large studio is that when something isn't working out, there are always a lot of expendable people between you and the bean counter with the axe.
I can believe the part about him being wary about accountability. I'm surprised that after this long in the business he hasn't developed the focus and self-discipline necessary to see his ideas through to the end, but in reality, he hasn't had to.
Keep the budget big, keep the hype going, and in the end, you only need to take credit for the stuff that works in order to keep your name alive. I just hope he never has to go back to being indie. He'd never survive.