Yes, the failures of Sales to identify how to move a product then to fail again in identifying how to offload the stalled products in a creative, non loss making way is most fucking certainly on the heads of the senior Sales people; 100%.
I'm curious. Who are you trying to pin those failures on? The CEO doesn't do product sales anymore (they're doing investor PR when they make statements). The COO is concerned with everything but product sales. The CFO's only concern is making sure the financials meet the goals the CEO set out without (getting caught) breaking any laws. The CIO, normally, knows less than nothing about product sales. So who does that leave on the Bridge of a large company to be be concerned with sales? I'm going to give you a hint and tell you it's the Chief Sales Officer or Executive President of Sales that is responsible for sales. It's kind of neat how job titles and responsibilities match up isn't it?
The CEO says 'I want (metric)' then goes off to keep the board (most importantly) and investors somewhat mollified while all the other C' go off and figure out how to satisfy that metric. Occasionally, if the company founder is also the CEO, they'll participate in operations or sales from a 50,000ft altitude, but generally they'll have no idea what the company is doing if it isn't on their dashboard or their daily one page executive briefing every day. They don't know, because it isn't their job to know. Hell, unless you're talking a thimble sized company the CEO can't know. There's too much to do. That's what all those other officers are supposed to do. That's why they have those incredibly descriptive job titles.
Incidentally, firing executives who blame others for their failures is another job the CEO has. That's important for you to remember if you're ever in a position where you're reporting to a CEO. If you're trying to figure out who is responsible for a given thing then that person is in the mirror.
Go look at a market analysts report on any company's earnings call. The first fucking thing they write about is the appearance of the CEO and the mood in the room. Know why? They aren't being creative, that's for damn sure. They put the CEO appearance, manner of speaking and mood of the room first because that's the sole reason the CEO is showing up for the event.
The Senior Executives, the Board and major partners knew the numbers a few days ago and the rest of the world will have access to that data a few hours before the call. The information is irrelevant, it's already happened. The way the CEO looks and handles himself will determine if investors have confidence or if they don't think the CEO's goals for the future are viable. Find another Wall Street financial document that begins with a fashion and social column. I challenge you.
The CEO's sole responsibility is seeing that the Board is satisfied. They do that by making sure investors are satisfied(ish) and they do that by giving the actual company drivers goals that will satisfy the Board and investors. It's everybody but the CEO who is responsible for figuring out how to meet those goals.
Being a CEO is the hardest job in the world, but it's fun too, if you're cut out for it. You should try if sometime.