Tech CEOs on the hot seat

Management missteps and a failure to adapt to a changing tech landscape has put these seven big-name CEOs in the crosshairs.

Michael Dell, Dell

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Dell's stock has gotten pummeled this year -- it's down 30% -- because of the company's inability to get in front of the mobile trend.

Founder and CEO Michael Dell has tried to push the company toward the cloud storage business, which has generally been performing better than PCs. Though the transition is beginning to take shape, Dell's storage business is slowing. It continues to grow faster than the rest of the industry, but investors worry that storage's weakness is jamming the company's turnaround gears.

Dell (DELL) still makes most of its money from PCs, sales of which have been tumbling. Without any significant smartphone or tablet presence, Dell is missing out on the mobile revolution.

A company spokesman said Dell is confident it's on the right track.

"In 2008, under Mr. Dell's leadership, we began executing a strategy to become the technology industry's leading provider of end-to-end solutions, and we've made significant progress," said David Frink.

Would the company's founder actually step down? Dell handed off the CEO title once before, in 2004, before returning three years later to reclaim the reigns.

Another possibility: Dell could go private. The company's shares jumped earlier this month when a Goldman Sachs analyst speculated that it might be a good candidate for a private-equity takeover. That would be wildly expensive, but hey -- anything's possible.

CNNMoney's Julianne Pepitone contributed reporting to this article
  @DavidGoldmanCNN - Last updated December 07 2012 07:46 AM ET

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