Roundup: CEOs Share Mixed Views On Economy

Chief executives at a companies in industries ranging from hotels, to energy, to health care, to technology, and restaurants, have a wide-range views on where the economy is now and where it's going. Some have started hiring, while others are holding off. But even those with a more pessimistic outlook seem to think the worst is over.

Several executives spoke to CNBC Wednesday to discuss the outlook for their companies in the wake of second quarter earnings reports and to share their perspectives on the economy.

"We are not seeing signs yet of a recovery," said Wayne Deveydt, CFO at WellPoint , the largest commercial health insurer based on membership. "We measure how many employees are being laid off or hired at (member) companies, and we’re seeing a net negative," Deveydt said. Still, he added, "I’m not so sure it’s going to get worse."

"The economic recovery is going to go slow, and we’ll have periods of time that it seems to go a little bit faster," said James Mulva, CEO of ConocoPhilips. "The recovery will come when we promote and get investments made by business, because when we make investments, that leads to employment...that really helps the economy."

Wyndham Worldwide runs several economy hotels like DaysInn and Super8, which are in states across the country. CEO Stephen Holmes didn't see much weakness in any region in the past quarter, when the company reported better-than-expected earnings.

Sprint Nextel CEO Daniel Hesse, which reported its first gain in new subscribers in three years, said the economy is in recovery, "but with a small 'r'". At the moment, Sprint is hiring more employees for its retail operations, but it's reducing employees in customer call centers because complaints are down.

Panera Bread had the rosiest of outlooks, expecting to hire 25,000 employees in the next year. "These are very good times for Panera Bread," Chairman Ron Shaich told CNBC.