Tuesday, December 13, 2011

UPDATE: The Firm Formerly Known As Blackwater

The last time I passed by the old Blackwater compound out at Moyock, North Carolina, the place was a ghost town. - S.L.

Company Once Known as Blackwater Ditches Xe for Yet Another New Name


Despite new ownership, a new board and new management, security contractor Xe Services LLC could never shake a troublesome nickname: the company formerly known as Blackwater.

Now, it's the company formerly known as Xe.

On Monday, Virginia-based Xe plans to unveil a new name — Academi — and new logo. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ted Wright, president and chief executive, said the name change aims to signal a strategy shift by one of the U.S. government's biggest providers of training and security services.

Mr. Wright said Academi will try to be more "boring."

Founded by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince, the original Blackwater cultivated a special-operations mystique. But it was tarnished by a string of high-profile incidents, including a deadly 2007 shootout in Iraq that ultimately led to its reorganization and rebranding as Xe Services. Mr. Prince left the business in 2010, selling his stake to investor group USTC Holdings LLC.

Mr. Wright came on board this summer as part of a continuing corporate reorganization. In recent meetings with clients, he said he explained that the new corporate identity was supposed to stress the company's focus on regulatory compliance and contract management, in addition to its track record of protecting clients. "I tell them, from now on, I'm going to be in the background; I'm going to be boring," he said. "You're not going to see me in headlines."

Read the rest HERE

Now that they've distanced themselves from the SEALs maybe they've finally learned that being Special Operations isn't about being a pack of chest-thumping egomaniacs and it isn't about being a character in a computer game.

Speaking of games - looks like somebody bought the old Blackwater name & logo; now they're selling military kit, DVDs & posters, knives, luggage, patches, and paintball equipment. Blackwater game for XBox 360 Kinect coming soon. - S.L.


Today's BIRD


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