MONROE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state officials are seeking to have CenturyLink extend an agreement to keep its headquarters in Monroe beyond 2020, The News-Star reported.

Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson met with CenturyLink executives Wednesday in Monroe as part of ongoing negotiations, and Edwards and the telecommunications company’s CEO, Jeff Storey, are expected to meet this month, the newspaper quoted Richard Carbo, the governor’s deputy chief of staff, as saying.

CenturyLink is the largest public company based in Louisiana, with annual revenue of nearly $18 billion. It has operations in 60 countries and roughly 50,000 employees worldwide. It’s one of the largest employers in Louisiana with around 2,700 workers and an annual state payroll exceeding $200 million.

The company has a contract with the state to remain based in Monroe through 2020 as part of a previous incentives package. Most of its Louisiana employees are located at its headquarters.

Carbo declined to reveal details of the negotiations, but said CenturyLink’s future in Louisiana is among the governor’s top economic priorities.

The newspaper reported that it had contacted CenturyLink for comment.

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said he recently had a productive meeting with Storey. Mayo said Storey gave no guarantee on the long-term future of CenturyLink’s headquarters, but was generally bullish on the company’s continued presence in Monroe.

Storey took over leadership in May after longtime CEO Glen Post retired. Storey had been CEO of Level 3, which CenturyLink acquired in a merger that closed last year.

Storey did not move to Monroe but often commutes to the headquarters. He and his family live in Broomfield, Colorado, where Level 3 was based.


Information from: The News-Star, http://www.thenewsstar.com



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