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Investors beware: 11 CEOs on the hot seat in 2015

Depressed businessman

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Leaders challenged in the C-suite

Being a CEO has never been a stress-free job, but for many corporate leaders, the pressure is greater than ever.

Activist investors, eager to see increasingly greater returns, have little patience for the turnaround "right around the corner" as a stock price craters. Customers, meanwhile, are increasingly loud about their complaints on social media.

"CEOs are more scrutinized if they make mistakes than ever before," said Jeff Wolf, founder of Wolf Management Consultants. How intense is the pressure? Wolf said that it's reached the point where some spend a lot of time second-guessing themselves, but there's a fine line between productive introspection and paranoia.

Here are 11 CEOs who have recently faced significant challenges if not outright attacks on their leadership mettle—and the valuable lessons you can learn from them.

—By Chris Morris, special to CNBC.com
Posted 13 March 2015

Will Selarep | Getty Images