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Erik Prince


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Erik Prince

  1. 1. Benjamin Harned Economics Period 2, Spring 2010 Entrepreneur Presentation
  2. 2. General Information  Born June 6th, 1969  Founded the private military company (PMC) Blackwater USA, now known as Xe
  3. 3. Childhood and Education  Prince’s father, Edgar, was very rich and his philanthropic efforts successfully preserved Prince’s hometown of Holland, Michigan. Edgar’s belief in religion and service to the world we’re passed on to Prince, and can be seen in Blackwater’s mission statement.  After attending Holland Christian High School, Prince briefly attended the US Naval Academy. Finding its many rules to be frustrating, he transferred to Hillsdale College. According to Newsweek, the college has an “almost Ayn Rand-like faith in free market economics”
  4. 4. Founding of Blackwater  Prince joined the Navy and served in the SEALs for four years, leaving in 1996 when his father died.  Prince used his considerable inheritance to buy 6,000 acres of North Carolina’s Great Dismal Swamp.  Blackwater USA was started by Prince in 1997, and it’s facilities built on the purchased land.
  5. 5. Prince’s Mission  Prince saw Blackwater as a form of “relief with teeth”.  Able to deploy to dangerous trouble spots around the globe, Blackwater operators would be able to assist more effectively than aid organizations or the US military, due to their advanced, specialized training.  Prince explained his mission by referencing the Bible- “Everybody carries guns, just like Jeremiah rebuilding the Temple in Israel, a sword in one hand, a trowel in the other”.
  6. 6. Actions to Accomplish Mission  Established US Training Center, one of the world’s largest tactical training facilities.  Developed Blackwater into world’s largest PMC, with nearly 1,000 operators worldwide.  Expanded arsenal to include many types of military hardware, with everything from surveillance drones to armored personnel carriers.  Worked with US Military, State Department, and the CIA.
  7. 7. Controversies  Some practices of Prince and Blackwater were of questionable morality.  In September 2007, Blackwater operators killed 17 civilians in “self- defense” while in a firefight. Operators were also found to be unruly and disregarding of regulations. Prince continually protected them.  There has been a great deal of debate over the accountability of PMC’s like Blackwater.  Even though many Blackwater operators were foreign nationals, Prince called them “Americans working for the American government”.
  8. 8. Effects of Controversies  In response to American and Iraqi anger at the company’s actions, Blackwater was expelled from Iraq in 2009. The loss of contracts was a severe blow to the company.  Prince’s avoidance of the media, when applied to Blackwater’s actions, the CIA contracts, alleged murder contracts, and a personal cheating scandal, has given Prince a decidedly negative public image.
  9. 9. End of Blackwater  Prince feels betrayed by the US government “…when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus”.  Blackwater name was tarnished beyond all repair, leading to the name change to Xe in 2009.  There has been an increased focus on personal security training, and development of advanced military surveillance to counter the loss of Iraq contracts.
  10. 10. Resignation  The failures of Prince and Blackwater added up, and on March 2nd, 2009, he stepped down as CEO of the company.  While he still maintains stock, he is no longer involved in the day to day affairs of the company, and has expressed wishes to separate himself entirely.  Prince has said that he is considering becoming a high school teacher.