With the Icahn business settled, Jerry Yang can move on to more important questions: For example, is he going to the Beijing Olympics? A week ago, he hadn't quite made up his mind.The dithering was utterly characteristic for the perennially indecisive Yahoo cofounder. But you'd think he could commit to a no-brainer like attending the Games. Yang is a Taiwanese native, and no fan of the Communist regime — China's jailing of a blogger, aided by Yahoo China's handover of email records, led to a humiliating session where he was called to the carpet in front of Congress. But the Beijing Olympics is a seminal event in the rise of Asia, where Yahoo has significant investments — one of the few areas where it has an edge on Google.
Attending the Olympics as Yahoo's CEO is just one of many prideful reasons Yang could be holding onto his corner office. Now that Icahn has folded, it's unlikely he'll be voted off the board by shareholders at an upcoming annual meeting on August 1, held a week before the Olympics open. But the now-ended proxy battle explains Yang's hedging. Would he attend the events as a has-been who was beaten by Microsoft and Carl Icahn? He may be indecisive, but that choice is pretty clear.
(Photoillustration by Lou Beach/Wall Street Journal)