Can't really disagree with most of your post. Other than your attempt to absolve Jon(mr. shafer? Trip? island? wtf does he wanna be called btw) of ANY responsibility for civ V. I happily concede that EVERYTHING in civ V wasn't his fault.. but none of it?
I don't doubt that Jon was able to make some key decisions that some folks didn't like. It will always be that some people will like something that others dislike. There hasn't been a Civ game yet that there wasn't something I wish was different. But the total ruination of a game is something else. I don't see Jon's decisions for 1UPT or hexes or what? as having destroyed Civ. I wouldn't have liked the embark feature but that wouldn't have ruined it for me. But a decision to drastically dilute the games complexity in order to appeal to a broader crowd is absolutely something which ruins it for me. And budget decisions which don't allow enough man hours to properly implement core features might also end up ruining it for me. I think that which destroyed Civ5 was out of Jon's realm. You can hold him accountable for unpopular features, but I think total ruination was all 2k.
That said, when I first heard that Jon was leading Civ5 I had some serious misgivings. The guys got skills, but I figured the development of the latest installment of the best TBS of all time, should be lead by someone with many more years of experience. It seems to me that a lead dev should have worked under the tutelage of an experienced and proven talent long before striking out on their own. But perhaps Firaxis is short on long time talent. Maybe 2k, and/or other management concerns keeps driving them off. I can only guess.
I have respect for Jon's talents, but think he's got a long way to go before being considered an industry guru. I think the same of Soren Johnson (who's a little further along than Jon). But I do see their skill sets as being of great value in the here and now. With more experience, and more exposure to quality management, I think they have potential to become industry greats. But for now, they are already highly skilled individuals who are valuable assets to a game development team. This is just my unqualified opinion.