The company formerly known as Blackwater has once again changed its name. Prior to selling the company to its current owners, Erik Prince changed the name to the innocuous “Xe.” The point was to adopt a low profile name that didn’t stand for anything in particular in order to help soften public opinion of the company. It didn’t work.
The history of names used by Blackwater is monumental – Blackwater aka Blackwater USA aka Blackwater Worldwide aka Xe (services) aka US Training Center. There are a couple of other entities that are affiliated with Blackwater as well, like Paravant and Greystone.
But, the new owners have been working hard behind the scenes to change the lineup in the firm and how it does business. Their bid at a name change comes only after a lot of internal hard work. This new name is intended to signal to the world that this isn’t the same old Blackwater.
In a statement to CNN, CEO Ted Wright said, “The message here is not that we’re changing the name. The message is that we’re changing the company, and the name just reflects those changes. We have new owners, a new board of directors, a new management team, new location, new attitude on governance, new openness, new strategy – it’s a whole new company.”
Their latest name? Academi.