Web Summit CEO resigns after commenting on Israel-Hamas war

Web Summit Chief Executive and founder Paddy Cosgrave resigned on Saturday after comments he made on the Israel-Hamas war prompted some technology companies and investors to withdraw plans to attend the conference in Portugal next month.

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

Web Summit, which organizes one of the world's largest tech conferences every year, will appoint a new CEO as soon as possible, a spokesperson for the company said in an emailed statement, adding that Web Summit 2023 in Lisbon will go ahead as planned.

According to a Bloomberg report on Friday, Google and Meta Platforms Inc, as well as several other tech companies, including Intel Corp and Siemens AG have decided not to participate in the event. The summit is scheduled to take place from November 13-16.

Cosgrave drew criticism after a post on social media platform X on October 13th, referring to Israel's response in Gaza following the Hamas attacks on October 7th.

"War crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies, and should be called out for what they are," the post read. Days later, on Tuesday, he apologized for his comments.

Cosgrave remains the majority shareholder in Web Summit.

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