Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave quits following backlash over Israel comments

Paddy Cosgrave, CEO and co-founder of Web Summit, has been forced to reisgn following comments he made on X. (Photo: Wikimedia ©Sportsfile)

Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave has resigned following the backlash from sponsors and speakers surrounding his comments on the conflict in Gaza.

One of Europe’s largest tech events, Web Summit is gearing up for its next conference on November 13 to 16 in Lisbon, with 70,000 delegates expected to attend.

But comments made by Cosgrave on social media over the current conflict which criticised Israel’s response to the recent terrorist attack by Hamas caused an immediate furore leading to two major sponsors, Intel and Siemens, pulling out alongside Meta, Google, Amazon Web Services and Stripe, in addition to a number of speakers cancelling their appearances.

“Unfortunately, my personal comments have become a distraction from the event, and our team, our sponsors, our startups and the people who attend. I sincerely apologize again for any hurt I have caused,” he said in a statement.

The conference is still planning to go ahead for now and a new CEO will be appointed as soon as possible.