New CEO Announced As Paddy Cosgrave Steps Down From Web Summit


Paddy Cosgrave, the co-founder and CEO of Web Summit, has announced his immediate resignation from the company. Web Summit, a conference business that hosts one of Europe’s largest tech events, has gained significant popularity over its 14-year existence. Cosgrave’s departure follows a week of controversy surrounding comments he made about the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Key Takeaway

Paddy Cosgrave, co-founder and CEO of Web Summit, has resigned following the controversy over his comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict. The fallout from his remarks resulted in prominent individuals and corporations boycotting the event.

Controversial Comments Spark Outrage

Cosgrave’s remarks, made in the wake of Hamas’s attack on Israel, drew widespread condemnation from the technology community and beyond. Initially expressing shock at the actions of “so many Western leaders & governments,” Cosgrave faced backlash for his statement. VCs and founders, including influential figures like David Marcus of Meta, denounced his comments and pledged to boycott Web Summit’s future events.

Attempts at Clarification and Apology

In an attempt to address the outrage, Cosgrave later appeared to backtrack on his initial statement. He expressed condolences for the lives lost in the conflict and condemned the attacks by Hamas. However, he also maintained his belief that war crimes committed by allies should be called out. As pressure continued to mount, Cosgrave issued an apology on the Web Summit website, acknowledging the hurt caused by his words.

Impact on Web Summit

The controversy surrounding Cosgrave’s comments led to a growing boycott of Web Summit by prominent individuals and corporations. Notably, Alphabet, Meta, Intel, Siemens, and Stripe announced their decision to withdraw from the event. With just over three weeks until the start of the signature show, the conference organizers faced a significant challenge in managing the fallout from Cosgrave’s remarks.

The resignation of Paddy Cosgrave leaves a void in Web Summit’s leadership. The organizers have stated their intention to appoint a new CEO as soon as possible and assured that Web Summit 2023 in Lisbon will proceed as planned. Given the immense popularity of Web Summit, attracting over 70,000 attendees last year, the conference faces a critical period of rebuilding trust and ensuring the continued success of its future events without Cosgrave at the helm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *