RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Blackwater Worldwide is abandoning its tarnished brand name.
Blackwater officials said Friday its family of two dozen business will now operate under the name Xe (zee), pronounced like the letter "z."
The decision comes as part of an ongoing rebranding effort that grew more urgent following a September 2007 shooting in Iraq that left at least a dozen civilians dead.
Blackwater president Gary Jackson said in a memo to employees the new name reflects the change in company focus away from the business of providing private security.
Spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell says the company felt the Blackwater name was too closely tied to its security work in Iraq.
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