What's in a name? Companies past identities

AP News
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Posted: Nov 06, 2009 4:42 PM

GMAC Bank recently reinvented itself as Ally Bank. The move was a way to distance itself from its troubled parent company GMAC Financial Services, which is negotiating its third infusion of taxpayer aid.

Here are a few other companies that have changed their names to shed old identities.

ACCENTURE

Formerly Arthur Anderson

The accounting and consulting firm changed its name after being convicted of obstruction of justice for shredding of documents at the former U.S. energy giant Enron Corp.

AIRTRAN

Formerly ValuJet

The airline wanted a new identity after one of its planes was involved in a deadly crash in 1996. The airline bought AirTran's fleet a year later and took on its name.

ALTRIA

Formerly Philip Morris

The tobacco giant changed its name in 2003 to shed its image associated with cigarettes.

XE

Formerly Blackwater Worldwide

The security firm changed its name earlier this year to Xe _ pronounced "z" _ to distance itself from its tarnished reputation related to some of its work in Iraq.