Bad Times for Blackwater, ahem, Xe.

This morning, Erik Prince, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Blackwater stepped down. A former Navy SEAL and heir to a multi-million dollar auto-parts fortune, Prince was the brains behind and public face of the company, which garnered a billion dollars’ worth of government contracts between 2001 and 2008. But, the company’s fortunes have ...

588116_090302_blackwaterresized2.jpg
588116_090302_blackwaterresized2.jpg

This morning, Erik Prince, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Blackwater stepped down. A former Navy SEAL and heir to a multi-million dollar auto-parts fortune, Prince was the brains behind and public face of the company, which garnered a billion dollars' worth of government contracts between 2001 and 2008.

But, the company's fortunes have changed with the administration. Five of its former employees are currently on trial for manslaughter, for killing unarmed civilians. This year, Iraq ousted Blackwater and it lost a State Department contract worth a third of its revenue.

This morning, Erik Prince, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Blackwater stepped down. A former Navy SEAL and heir to a multi-million dollar auto-parts fortune, Prince was the brains behind and public face of the company, which garnered a billion dollars’ worth of government contracts between 2001 and 2008.

But, the company’s fortunes have changed with the administration. Five of its former employees are currently on trial for manslaughter, for killing unarmed civilians. This year, Iraq ousted Blackwater and it lost a State Department contract worth a third of its revenue.

Prince’s resignation comes as part of a “comprehensive restructuring,” initiated last month. Blackwater fired a number of employees, and announced it would no longer seek U.S. security contracts, instead focusing on training law enforcement officials and security guards in its facilities across the world. It also rebranded itself “Xe,” pronounced “zee.” (The firm provided no explanation for the name, the symbol for the noble gas Xenon.)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, chair of the Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, responded:

“This is the second time Blackwater has tried to change its image by rebranding itself. No matter what it calls itself, Blackwater can’t change the fact that its lethal actions have resulted in the deaths of innocent Iraqi civilians. The company’s reckless actions have also put our troops in harm’s way and jeopardized our mission in Iraq. I’m glad that the State Department under Secretary of State Clinton has decided not to renew Blackwater’s contract in Iraq. Blackwater’s notorious reputation will outlast its name.”

Maybe a new jingle?

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Annie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.

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