Name Game

Blackwater Rechristened: Xe

Blackwater Worldwide, perhaps the only private military contractor with household name recognition, is rebranding. Its futuristic new name, Xe (pronounced like the last letter of the alphabet) aims to help the company disassociate from image-tarnishing Iraq War moments like a shooting in 2007 that left at least a dozen civilians dead. In a memo, Blackwater president Gary Jackson announced that the company intends to shift away from the soldier-for-hire game and into "personnel protective services for high-threat environments when needed by the U.S. government." This announcement comes on the heels of Iraqi leaders' decision last month not to renew Blackwater's license to operate there.