The private security contractor known as Blackwater renamed itself Xe Services nearly three years ago. Now, the firm is rebranding itself again.
On Monday, Xe announced that it was changing its name to Academi, part of a years-long effort by the company to shed a troubled legacy that critics said made the firm a symbol for mercenaries and impunity in Iraq and elsewhere.
In an interview, the company’s president and chief executive, Ted Wright, said the announcement was about more than a simple name change.
“We want to reflect the changes we made in the company,” he said, noting that the firm has new ownership, new leadership and a “refocused strategy on training and security services.”
Xe was acquired by USTC Holdings, an investor consortium, in December 2010, and since then has tried to undergo a corporate makeover. Erik Prince, the former Navy SEAL who built the company, no longer has ties to the business. The firm formed a new board of directors to manage the company and picked up big Washington names in the process.