Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brand Name Game: Blackwater changes name -- again

Blackwater changed its name in 2009 to Xe, which was intentionally esoteric. Hard to know how to pronounce. Now Blackwater has changed its name from Xe to Academi:Blackwater 3.0: Rebranded ‘Academi’ Wants Back In Iraq | Common Dreams
Say goodbye to Xe. The company formerly known as Blackwater — the world’s most infamous private security corporation — has jettisoned the name it chose in its 2009 rebrand. Now the “security solutions provider” wants to wash away the taint of the 2007 Nisour Square shootings by adopting the new name “Academi.”
This new name change implies something learned, a higher institution of sacred learning and education, peaceful, -- brains, not brawn. Of course Blackwater Xe Academi is still in the mercenary soldier business. Nothing has changed about the agendas of the company:
Our focus is on training and security services. We’re continuing that,” new CEO Ted Wright tells Danger Room. “We’re not backing away from security services. The lion’s share of our business today is providing training for security services and [providing] security services.”

If Blackwater — sorry, Academi – was a sports franchise, you’d consider 2011 its rebuilding year. A consortium of investors close to the family of founder Erik Prince bought the company in late 2010, and spent 2011 putting together its new leadership team. It brought on board former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Bill Clinton consigliere Jack Quinn and Suzanne Folsom from the insurance giant AIG. Wright came from military-services giant KBR. Notice a pattern? All have deep experience with crisis management.
There's more, much more, in the article, including Academi's plans in Iraq. 

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