Airbus success to become the number one airliner manufacturer is an undeniable achievement. However, the history is full of examples of companies that grew too fast, and their own success was ultimately the cause of their demiss.
I think that this is to certain extent what is happening now to Airbus.
First, the confidence in their business model, together with the reassurance of financial support from the EU, made them loose sight of the market solid business principles. They became too internally focused instead of listening to the customers. They decided to engage in a project that was as much commercially justified, as it was politically motivated. While there certainly was a business case for the A380, it was also a very "sexy" project. I'm sure that if Airbus was presented at that time with a choice of doing the A380 vs. a more modest but commercially more attractive airplane (a-la B787), they would have chosen the A380 for political reasons.
Second, I think they overestimated their technical capability. Actually, there were already signs that Airbus, while technically very capable as proven with the A32x and A330/340 product line, was reaching the limits of their talent as hinted by the performance limitations of the A340-600. Now their over-confidence in their technical capability is causing them to pay the price of the repetitive delays in A380 delivery.
Last, Airbus management forgot that they are servants to the shareholders and customers, and not kings of an empire. Both Forgeard and Leahy have displayed significant level of arrogance.
Maybe the best option for Airbus now is to scale down, re-invent itself and emerge as a smaller, but stronger company.