Blackwater Picks A New Name: It's Xe Saying its old name was tied too closely to its controversial securities work in Iraq, the North Carolina-based firm will now be known as Xe, pronounced like the letter "z." An ongoing rebranding effort grew more urgent following a deadly September 2007 shooting in Iraq.
NPR logo Blackwater Picks A New Name: It's Xe

Blackwater Picks A New Name: It's Xe

Blackwater Worldwide is abandoning its tarnished brand name.

Blackwater officials said Friday its family of two dozen businesses will now operate under the name Xe, pronounced like the letter "z."

The decision comes as part of an ongoing rebranding effort that grew more urgent following a September 2007 shooting in Iraq that left at least a dozen civilians dead.

Blackwater President Gary Jackson said in a memo to employees of the North Carolina-based company that the new name reflects the change in company focus away from the business of providing private security.

Spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell says the company felt the Blackwater name was too closely tied to its security work in Iraq.