2016 Fortune 500 Rank: 159 (up 9 spots)
CEO: Glen Post III
CenturyLink climbed from No. 168 to No. 159 despite 2015 sales dipping by 0.7 percent to $17.9 billion. Profits for the Monroe, La.-based company climbed by 13.7 percent to $878 million, while earnings per share grew by 16.2 percent. CenturyLink saw a 7 percent increase in its high-bandwidth data services business in the most recent quarter, but the jury Is still out on whether the vendor will hold onto its data center assets. CenturyLink employs 43,000, and has appeared on the Fortune 500 every year since 2010.