Blackwater / Xe now called Academi

I just found out that in December 2011 Xe, the company formally known as Blackwater, was renamed to Academi. WSJ reported

On Monday, Virginia-based Xe plans to unveil a new name—Academi—and new logo. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ted Wright, president and chief executive, said the name change aims to signal a strategy shift by one of the U.S. government’s biggest providers of training and security services.

Mr. Wright said Academi will try to be more “boring.”

Xe was a terrible name. In my mind is conjured up images of secret societies and ninja assassins, not the image Blackwater was going was trying for.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Charles222

    This name is not an improvement either. Sounds like the bad guys in an Uwe Boll movie.

    • Alaskan

      The name “Uwe Boll” sounds like a Bond villain.

  • Ben

    Sounds like a gay dance studio

    • Burst

      Blackwater: The Musical.
      Starring Gary Busey as Eric Prince.

  • SpudGun

    Can’t wait until they go full Prince and just have some weird symbol instead of a name.

    I’m wondering if new recruits will have to go to the Academi Academy?

    ‘Trusted Protection’ also sounds a bit condom commercial.

    • Goose

      They could go full Eric Prince and name themselves the Holy Knights of Arlington, but I don’ think it will improve their image any.

  • Justin R.

    One of these days, they’ll just change their name back to Blackwater, since that’s what everyone knows them as anyway.

    • BC; MT

      No, that is why they repeatedly change their name. Their clients will always know them; they want to elude their detractors.

  • Rangefinder

    I have been involved in several branding exercises and can appreciate the effort involved. It can be a challenge to condense your corporate mission and personality into one or two words. It is much easier to recognize a great idea than to create one. I would say it is a gift.

    • Darwin

      In this case they are changing the brand because the original name is tarnished.

  • M.G. Halvorsen

    I’ve got it! “Studies and Observation Group”!…nooo, been done before…hmmm…

  • Lance

    Too bad they only offer jobs to SOCOM retirees they do get some awesome jobs.

    • Darwin

      Using mercenaries is bad for a democracy. Blackwater/XE or whatever they are using to hide themselves do not only hire SOCOM they hire all kinds of losers as well. Undisciplined jerkoffs who make life more difficult for members of the military who have to live with Blackwaters many unprofessional f’ups.

  • calool

    this is far too james bond villainey, i wouldnt be surprised if the boss had a shark tank in his office

    • H.L. Fahnestock

      Or petting a white cat while wearing a monocle.

  • Alex-mac

    The should just go all in and call themselves “The Good Guys”.

    • Goose

      They’d get sued for false advertising?

  • Tony

    For me Xe always put me in mind of the online currency exchange caluculator

  • Bob Z Moose

    Damn it, Steve. If you keep posting about their name changes, they’re never gonna escape the Hippy Hordes©!

  • Yves

    They need a low profile name, something cumbersome and complicated to do not be easily remembered maybe a name that me you think that they are part of the gov.

  • talentt

    Should have used AKademi

  • GoinFawr

    I’m a guy, I like firing my rifles, I enjoy explosions, I get mesmerized by a bonfire… but I sure don’t have any respect for those who get paid to push around the weak.

  • Chip

    For years Blackwater operatives in Iraq were literally above the law. There were no rules applied to them with regards to killing other than the ones they imposed on themselves. There were very few incidents of misbehavior. That speaks highly of their professionalism and ethics. Imagine what would happen if you told the marines or Army infantry in a foreign country that for the next 300 days neither the UCMJ nor the local laws would apply to them.

  • upiperbob77

    Thank God we have them….somebody has got to get it done…Lawyers are a good suggestion, they get us in these ridiculous ROE.