Peer pressure can be tough. Just ask Motorola Inc.

At the end of 2005 Motorola was ready to adopt a new policy that it hoped would put a troublesome shareholder issue to rest. Like many U.S. companies, the Schaumberg, Ill.-based business was under pressure to make its director elections more democratic. Shareholder activists argued that, instead of being elected by a mere plurality of proxy votes, the company’s 12 board members should win their jobs with an actual majority. If they didn’t get enough votes, they wouldn’t get a seat on the board.

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