Xe Founder Leaves To Focus on PE Venture

(Reuters) – Private security firm Xe, previously known as Blackwater Worldwide, said founder Erik Prince has stepped down as chief executive to focus on his efforts on a private equity venture unrelated to the company.

Prince had been CEO since 1997, when he founded the security firm as Blackwater Worldwide.

The company named Joseph Yorio as president and Danielle Esposito as chief operating officer and executive vice president.

Blackwater Worldwide’s name came into sharp focus in September 2007 after bodyguards from the U.S. security firm opened fire in a Baghdad traffic jam, killing 17 Iraqi civilians and wounding 24 more while escorting a convoy of U.S. diplomats under a contract with the State Department.

(Reporting by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri in Bangalore)