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TheStreet Open House

Summer Business: Ask the CEOs

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The summer season has unofficially started, but the U.S. is coping with a slew of bad economic news. The number of new jobs on nonfarm payrolls were far fewer than expected in May; the housing market appears headed toward a second leg down, and the U.S. government is once again pushing up against its debt ceiling.

Against this backdrop, TheStreet asks business leaders what type of summer it will be for American business.

Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes, is relatively optimistic on the U.S. economy. "The second half of this year I think will be better than the pessimism than we have today, barring some disaster. They kicked Greece down the road, that will come back again, but they've kicked that can down the road a little bit. Hopefully, we won't have any more tsunamis in Japan or earthquakes, though I think there may be a dollar crisis."

He favors a modern gold standard to solve that dollar problem, but still sees the economy growing 3% plus in the back half of the year.

"Still, though, it's like a baseball player hitting .200 when he's capable of hitting .400."

Eyal Waldman, Mellanox CEO

Mellanox (MLNX) CEO Eyal Waldman is gearing up for an eventful few months as customers build out their IT infrastructures. Mellanox is a supplier of semiconductor-based, high-performance connectivity products that facilitate efficient data transmission between servers, communications infrastructure equipment and storage systems.

"For us, I think it's going to be busy -- we know of a number of programs that we need to provide solutions to in our fiscal Q3," he told TheStreet. "Q3 is usually a busy season for us -- if you look at the government budget, it ends in September or October, so people look at their budget more in the summer ."


Taleo (TLEO) CEO Michael Gregoire: "I think that we'll have stability going through the summer, and I think going into the back half of the year there will be an acceleration. Most of the government issues that plague the front pages of the papers - I'm an optimist - I think level heads will prevail. I think people are tired of cutting back. I think they want to be more productive. They want to grow.

"I know we will be very busy this summer. We have a new release that will come out at the end of September. We're testing it right now. We have our biggest user conference in San Francisco in September that requires an enormous amount of effort to put that show on. We have Condolezza Rice speaking at that conference.

The job market -- I think you'll see the seasonal labor come back like it does every summer. Once again, I'm an optimist. I think we're going to see a lot of the economic drags start to get resolved over the course of the summer and people will set themselves up for a great 2012.


Management software maker BMC (BMC), which recently put out strong fourth-quarter results, is also confident about the coming months. "We think that we will have a good summer," explained BMC CEO Bob Beauchamp. "Our strength is usually in the December and March-ending quarters so this is not the height of our season, but we expect really solid results throughout our summer."

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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