Blackwater Worldwide Changes Its Name to Xe; Same Mercenaries, but Now with More “Aviation Support”

Blackwater Worldwide is still protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq, but executives at the beleaguered security firm are taking their biggest step yet to put that work and the ugly reputation it earned the company behind them.

Blackwater said Friday it will no longer operate under the name that came to be known worldwide as a caustic moniker for private security, dropping the tarnished brand for a disarming and simple identity: Xe, which is pronounced like the letter “z.”

It’s a rare surrender for a company that cherished a brand name inspired by the dark-water swamps of northeastern North Carolina, one that survived another rebranding effort about a year ago, following a deadly shooting in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. The decision to give it up underscores how badly the Moyock-based company’s brand was damaged by that incident and other security work in Iraq.

Full Story: Cryptogon

4 Comments

  1. As though ‘Blackwater’ wasn’t ominous enough… any word on a flashy periodical-friendly logo for the rebranding campaign? A ‘Hello Kitty’ style bunny manning air traffic control? Something crisp and stylish that makes people think of their kid’s love of Nike and the X-Men?

  2. It could well work for them though. Recede into the background for a while, keep making money at a more or less constant rate on black market oversplash, then aggresively remarket themselves in a more stable economic context (for the larger conglomerates).

    Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai could still be open for them even now for security.

  3. Maybe they could use the same PR folks that helped rebrand Philip-Morris. I don’t remember who they Philip-Morris turned into, so their rebranding must have worked. Could be a new corporate trend. Stealth branding. “Most people never realize how many of the products that they use every day are manufactured by OctoGlom Industries….and we’re sure not going to tell them! OctoGlom – the quiet manufacturer.”

  4. Philip-Morris is Altria Group now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altria_Group

    Another example of this is Amway turning into Alticor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alticor

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