Xe tries to leave history of Blackwater behind as transformation cuts top 2 executives


MIKE BAKER
Associated Press
March 3, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Blackwater name is gone. So is the focus on the security business that made it famous. Now the founder who built the private company into one of the world’s most respected — and reviled — defense contractors is stepping aside as its chief executive.

[efoods]Erik Prince’s decision Monday to relinquish his role as chief executive officer underscored how hard the company now called Xe — pronounced like the letter “z” — is working to bury the Blackwater brand and move its focus further away from the security contracting that severely tarnished its reputation.

Prince appointed a new president and chief operating officer in a management shake-up that he said was part of the company’s “continued reorganization and self-improvement.” It comes less than a month after changing the company’s name to Xe in an effort at re-branding.

“As many of you know, because we focus on continually improving our business that Xe is in the process of a comprehensive restructuring,” Prince wrote in a note to employees and clients. “It is with pride in our many accomplishments and confidence in Xe’s future that I announce my resignation as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.”

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