Former director-general Greg Dyke has criticised the role played by Lord Patten during the BBC's recent troubles.
He told the Culture, Media and Sport Committee the BBC has had "a pretty dismal 12 months".
The last year has seen the corporation come under fire from critics over a range of subjects including the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal and the amount of money given in pay-offs to departing executives.
Former director-general George Entwistle was forced to resign after only weeks in the top job at the height of the Savile scandal which engulfed the corporation in 2012.
Asked if Lord Patten, who is currently chairman of the BBC Trust, was doing a good job, Dyke said: "No, I don't think he's doing a good job because I don't know where he was when the crisis happened."
Dyke, who stood down in 2004, said Entwistle had not had enough "support" at the time.
Earlier in the session, he told MPs he had expected the BBC to benefit from the success of the Olympics, which showed "how wrong you can be".
He said: "A series of things coming one after another has led to a pretty dismal 12 months."
Dyke said the Jimmy Savile sex scandal was not unique to the corporation, adding: "I spent many years working in ITV and I don't think it would have been any different if Savile had been an ITV artist."
The former chairman of the BBC board of governors Gavyn Davies, who was also giving evidence, said the Savile scandal had "clearly impacted" on people's views of the corporation.
Asked about how the BBC should be funded, Dyke told MPs that at "some point in the future" the licence fee could be scrapped and "some form of general taxation" could be used to fund the corporation.
Davies said: "There is no doubt the licence fee is a bad tax if you were designing a tax", but added it would be "premature" to discard it.
He also told MPs that the BBC paid "too much attention to ratings".
He said: "I thought that the first day I walked through the door and I thought it more the last day."
Dyke said the current governance system of the BBC was "a fudge" that worked initially but started to show failings over the last few years.
He said: "You saw the disaster over Jimmy Savile, over the appointment of a director-general, and that was because I don't think anybody was quite clear whose responsibility was what."
Another former BBC chairman Michael Grade said the corporation was "now unmanageable".
He told MPs the BBC was built for a world where it had to do everything for itself which it no longer needed to do.