Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave resigns over Israel ‘war crimes’ post
The CEO of a leading technology conference has stepped down after a wave of backlash over public statements he made accusing Israel of committing “war crimes” and breaching international law.
Paddy Cosgrave, a co-founder of the European tech conference Web Summit which brings together thousands of leading tech startups and firms in Lisbon, Portugal, resigned on Saturday after receiving blowback from sponsors and attendees. He said his personal views had become a “distraction from the event” and apologised for “any hurt” he had caused.
Cosgrave, an Irish entrepreneur who founded Web Summit in 2009, took to the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to weigh in on Israel’s ongoing bombing campaign in Gaza, which local authorities say has so far killed more than about 4,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and devastated much of the territory’s infrastructure.
“I’m shocked at the rhetoric and actions of so many Western leaders & governments, with the exception in particular of Ireland’s government, who for once are doing the right thing,” Cosgrave said in his post on October 13. “War crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies, and should be called out for what they are.”