The founder of Blackwater security company, founded in 1997 has stepped down as CEO and appointed new leaders. Prince will still helm the chair but no longer be involved in day to day operations.
The Washington Post quotes Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater.
“This started as a field of dreams: Build it, and they will come,” Prince told The Post two years ago. “It was a little success that led to another success to another success.”
Erik Prince used his inheritance from an auto parts store to build Blackwater. Depending on who is asked that company is either the world’s most respected or detested defense company in the world.
“After a lengthy process of identifying the right people for the job, I am pleased to announce that we have two very capable individuals ready to sit at the company’s helm,” Prince said in a statement.
Prince has named Joseph Yorio as the new president of the company replacing executive Gary Jackson. Jackson is retiring. The new chief operating officer and executive vice president is Danielle Esposito.
Erik Prince will stay on as chairman of the company but no longer see to the day to day operations.
The company will continue to expand its training for law enforcement with a focus on international clients. Blackwater trained 25,000 people last year from civilians to law enforcement and military personnel.
Blackwater became headline news when it won the contract to protect United States diplomats in Iraq. Since that time questionable ethics have plagued the company. Prince’s contributions to politicians just being one of the questionable acts. Thousands of dollars were given to Pat Buchanan, Oliver North, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), among others.
In January Iraq ordered that the security company leave following charges of five of the company’s contractors with manslaughter and weapons violations. Shortly after Blackwater was told to leave Iraq they changed the company name to “Xe” to promote that the company is changing or as “what it is today and not what it used to be,” as a company spokeswoman put it.