NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) CEO Robert Greifeld spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Liz Claman about the three-hour NASDAQ shutdown yesterday. Greifeld said, “We’re deeply disappointed with what happened yesterday.  And what we have to do is improve what I call defensive driving.” When asked about former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Harvey Pitt saying that the NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) handled the shutdown “terribly” yesterday, Greifeld said, “I think it’s hard for people outside direct involvement with the problem to comment and comment intelligently on it.”

NASDAQ

On yesterday’s three-hour NASDAQ shutdown:

“Certainly, we’re deeply disappointed with what happened yesterday.  And what we have to do is improve what I call defensive driving.  So our system, by itself, was working.  But you have interconnections in the world we live in today.  And we have to handle bad actions from some of those people connected to us.  We have to improve on that…but I would highlight that one of the reasons it took three hours was we have a first and foremost responsibility for fair and orderly markets.  So we spend two and a half hours, really, making sure the entire industry — we had open telephone lines with them—we made sure the entire industry was ready to come live.  And we did come live.  We came live quite successfully and finished the day in normal course of business.”

On whether there was any indication of hacking being the cause of yesterday’s three-hour NASDAQ shutdown:

“No, none whatsoever.  So this had nothing to do with hacking.  Hacking’s a fact of life, but had nothing to do with the problem yesterday.”

On what’s wrong with NASDAQ’s communication system:

“Our communication, I think, worked well yesterday.  It can always be improved.  First order of business is the focus in solving the problem and then dealing with the people directly involved with the problem.   Now, in one of those open lines, we had people representing our issues on the call.  And they are to give regular updates out.  We gave the formal update out after the close of trading, which we wanted to do. So I think we did well.  We’ll certainly reflect upon how we communicated, see if we can do better.  We had the people responsible for the issues on the open lines so they could hear firsthand exactly what was going on.  They were taking inbound calls.  We took hundreds of inbound calls, making outbound calls.  So there was active communication going on.  In this type of situation, you probably didn’t get to every single CEO or every single IRO.  But we communicated quite actively to a large number of them.  Then the official communication went out after the close of trading day to everybody. So it happened, you know, quite rapidly.”

On comments from former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Harvey Pitt that the NASDAQ handled the shutdown “terribly” yesterday:

“Well, I think it’s hard for people outside direct involvement with the problem to comment and comment intelligently on it.  Well, I’m just saying, for anybody who’s not there, right?  So you know, the people who were not on the open lines, who were not in the head trader alert communication, it’s hard for them to know and hard for them to comment intelligently in terms of what happened.”