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24/7 Wall St.: Seven Companies Forced to Change Their Names


Former name: Xe Services, Blackwater USA
Year changed: 2011, 2009

The corporation once known as Blackwater actually has changed its name twice in the past four years. In September 2007, five Blackwater guards were involved in an incident that appeared to involve the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. In February 2009, Blackwater changed its name to the much less sinister-sounding Xe Services. Just a few months later, two of its mercenaries fired on an unarmed vehicle and killed two Afghan civilians. In 2011, six months after the second gunman was convicted and sentenced to 37 months in prison for manslaughter, the company again changed its name in 2011, this time to Academi. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the company’s CEO, Ted Wright, explained the name change was an attempt to appear more “boring” and to demonstrate its renewed focus on acting within the bounds of the law.

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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