CEOs on the Economy: Cypress Semi, TempurPedic

An ebbing tide may take all ships lower, but that doesn't mean the housing crisis is going to make people stop buying mattresses. Hear how macroeconomic trends are affecting business at Cypress Semiconductor and TempurPedic International, with chief executives T.J. Rodgers and Tom Bryant.

Cradle of Innovation

T. J. Rodgers, Cypress Semiconductor CEO

"I remember the Asian financial meltdown five, six years ago, and I said, 'What's that got to do with us?  We're a chip company!' The fact is, a malaise in the bigger market means that everyone's going down with it. You can be the highest-flying cork in the ocean, and if the tide goes down, you're going to go down with it."

Tempur-Pedic Beats & Boosts

Tom Bryant, TempurPedic International CEO

"In the U.S., we really have not seen a correlation between housing and mattress sales. We spend, in America, a little over $12 billion annually on mattresses, and, out of that, 75 percent of that revenue is simply replacement. In July and August, the industry itself, not just our business, but the industry in July and August was up 10 percent and 12 percent in revenue."

Joe McGrath, Unisys President & CEO

"Whenever something like this happens to the market, there's both risk and there's opportunity. Frankly, in our case, the opportunity is, our largest business is our outsourcing business, and it's our fastest-growing business, and so, when there really is cost pressures that go across the board, people take a closer look at that, and for us, that ends up becoming an opportunity."

Lincoln Financial CEO

Dennis Glass, Lincoln Financial Group CEO

"We have the advantage that we're both in the insurance business, which has a lot of heavy-duty investing, but are also an investment management company. We bring a lot of talent to the table, and our guys saw the housing market softening, and they understood the ramifications and ripple effect that might have on some of the structured investments, and so we took small bites."

Universal Health CEO

Alan Miller, Universal Health Services Chairman, President & CEO

"I certainly wouldn't pick one candidate, but I love the idea that we're talking about it finally.. both sides are talking about more coverage, they're talking about the uninsured, and that bodes very well for us, because uninsured is a big problem.

Rio Tinto CEO on Economy

Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto CEO

"We're still planning around a slow-growth scenario for the U.S., but it's very important to recognize for our markets, for our business, most of the action is in China, in Asia, and in the emerging countries. We've moved, for example in aluminum, where more than 30 percent of the world's alumnium is consumed in China, only -- maybe 18, 19 percent's consumed in the U.S. Those are almost reversed over the past five years, so, for our main businesses, really, the drive in China for steel, iron ore, copper, and for aluminum really would be driving our business."