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CenturyLink to shift regional headquarters from La Crosse


La Crosse Tribune


December 1, 2010 5:00 pm


La Crosse will no longer be a regional headquarters for CenturyLink Inc. under organizational changes that take effect when its acqusition of Qwest is completed in the first half of 2011.

But the selection of Minneapolis for CenturyLink’s new Midwest Region headquarters isn’t expected to have a significant impact on employment in La Crosse, local spokeswoman Kim Valiquette said today. The company has about 804 employees in the La Crosse area, and has had a regional headquarters in the city since the early 1980s, she said.

Duane Ring Jr., president of the current La Crosse-based Northeast Region, will move to Minneapolis to be president of the combined company’s Midwest Region.

Eight to 10 people likely also will move from La Crosse to Minneapolis over the next 12 months with the organization changes, Ring said. They are management personnel or persons who work for management, he said.

“In the long term, this acquisition of Qwest will be a good thing,” Ring said. “And I think it will be good for La Crosse.”  He said he thinks the number of CenturyLink employees in the La Crosse area will stay at about where it has been, in the near future. “I think there’s an opportunity in the future for some small incremental growth,” as the company grows, he said.

The current Northeast Region includes Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The new Midwest Region will include Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Minneapolis now serves as a Qwest hub for the upper Midwest. Qwest is based in Denver.