Blackwater Ditches Name, Attempts to Change Image
Firm renames itself Xe; will focus on training and logistics support
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2009 2:58 PM CST
In a July 2008 file photo, founder and CEO of Blackwater Worldwide Erik Prince is seen at Blackwater's offices in Moyock, N.C.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Private security firm Blackwater Worldwide is hoping to shed some of the controversy that has dogged it since its bloody tenure in Iraq by renaming itself Xe (pronounced “Zee”), the AP reports. Besides the name change, the firm has altered the focus of its business from contracting out private security to running training facilities and providing logistics support.

As a result, the firm is not accepting new private security contracts, although it will “continue to provide personnel protective services for high-threat environments when needed by the US government,” president Gary Jackson said in a memo. Blackwater guards killed 17 Iraqis in September 2007; that incident ultimately resulted in the loss of its contract with US State Department.