Ex-CIA chief Tenet joins ‘James Bond’ firm

Former CIA Director George Tenet, shown on Capitol Hill in February 2003, has joined a British research firm.Ron Edmonds / AP
/ Source: Reuters

Former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet has joined the British research firm thought to have provided the inspiration for ‘Q’, the character who creates spy gadgets for James Bond.

Tenet has been appointed an independent non-executive director of QinetiQ, the company said Tuesday.

“I am especially interested in the capacity of the company’s technologies to meet a number of the challenges faced by our nations’ military and intelligence personnel,” Tenet said.

One of the longest serving U.S. spymasters in history, Tenet was CIA director from 1997 to 2004.

He served under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush before quitting in June 2004, citing personal reasons.

Critics blamed the CIA during his reign for shortcomings in intelligence gathered in the run-up to war in Iraq and questioned whether more could have been done to predict the Sept. 11 hijackings.

QinetiQ is partly owned by American private equity firm Carlyle Group, whose advisers have included former President H.W. George Bush and former British Prime Minister John Major.

Once a secretive part of Britain’s Ministry of Defense, the firm was listed on the London Stock Exchange in February.