Paddy Cosgrave, the CEO of the tech conference, has resigned after Alphabet, Meta, Google, Siemens and Intel joined a raft of companies pulling out of the show next month in response to his comments criticising Israel’s response to the Hamas terror attacks.
The chief executive of Web Summit, took the decision after major sponsors and speakers withdrew from the event, still scheduled to run 13 November, in protest at the Irish entrepreneur’s stance.
Cosgrave founded Web Summit in 2009, said: “Unfortunately, my personal comments have become a distraction from the event, and our team, our sponsors, our start-ups and the people who attend. I sincerely apologise for any hurt I have caused.”
The organisation said it aimed to appoint a new chief executive as soon as possible. But whether Cosgrave’s stepping down is enough to bring back those who have withdrawn from the conference is unclear.
The event, now held in Lisbon, Portugal, drew about 70,000 attendees last year.