Blackwater, Er, We Mean Xe, Changes Name Again

CEO says 'Academi' will strive to be 'boring'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2011 8:38 AM CST
Erik Prince, founder and CEO of the company then called Blackwater Worldwide speaks at the company's offices in Moyock, NC, in this July 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
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(Newser) – Blackwater's attempt to scrub clean its image by rebranding itself as Xe Services didn't really throw anyone off the scent—it was forever identified as "the company formerly known as Blackwater"—so now the company is trying again. Today, it will formally announce its new name, "Academi," and it's one the company is hoping you'll forget. CEO Ted Wright tells the Wall Street Journal his goal is to make the company "boring."

Wright has spent all summer assuring clients that Blackwater/Xe/Academi's exciting days are behind it. "I tell them, from now on, I'm going to be in the background," he says. "You're not going to see me in the headlines." He's hoping that if Blackwater stays low-key enough, it will eventually regain its license to operate in Iraq, one of the more profitable markets for security contractors. It was stripped of that license following a 2007 Baghdad shootout that left 17 civilians dead. (Read more Blackwater stories.)

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