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Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave resigns after Israel ‘war crimes’ remarks



The boss of one of the world’s most prominent tech conferences has resigned after his remarks accusing Israel of committing “war crimes” in Gaza prompted a mass exodus of participants.

Paddy Cosgrave, the CEO and founder of Web Summit, initially sparked outrage on Oct. 13 after tweeting, “war crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies, and should be called out for what they are” as Israel launched retaliatory strikes against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Amazon, Google, Meta and Intel were among dozens of tech firms and investors that withdrew from the upcoming Web Summit, which is set to kick off in Portugal on Nov. 13. The Israel government also pulled out of the event.

“I am resigning as CEO of Web Summit with immediate effect,” Cosgrave said. “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.”

The Web Summit is expected to go on as scheduled and the organization will appoint a replacement CEO as soon as possible, a spokesperson told Reuters. Cosgrave remains Web Summit’s majority shareholder.

Cosgrave resigned days after he issued a public apology for his remarks, stating last week that he “unreservedly condemn[ed] Hamas’ evil, disgusting and monstrous October 7 attack.”

“I understand that what I said, the timing of what I said, and the way it has been presented has caused profound hurt to many,” Cosgrave said on Oct. 17. “To anyone who was hurt by my words, I apologize deeply.”

Dor Shapira, the Israeli ambassador to Portugal, had earlier announced that Israel would “not participate” in the Web Summit and called for a boycott of this year’s event in response to Cosgrave’s remarks.

Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave is pictured.
AP
Paddy Cosgrave is still Web Summit’s majority shareholder.
Sportsfile via Getty Images

“Even during these difficult times, he is unable to set aside his extreme political views and denounce the Hamas terrorist activities against innocent people,” Shapira said. “Dozens of companies have already canceled their participation in this conference, and we encourage more to do so.”

Last year’s edition of the Web Summit drew more than 70,000 attendees, according to Bloomberg.

More than 1,400 people in Israel – most of whom were civilians – were killed earlier this month after Hamas launched a surprise attack on border towns. The terrorists also took at least 222 hostages.

More than 1,400 Israelis were killed after Hamas launched a surprise attack.
AP

Meanwhile, Israel is reportedly prepping a ground invasion of Gaza in response to the attacks.

WIth Post wires





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