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Paddy Cosgrave, the CEO and co-founder of annual tech conference Web Summit, has resigned from his post after coming under fire for his comments on the Israel-Hamas war, leading Big Tech guests like Alphabet, Meta and Amazon to cancel their attendance.
“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 on Saturday.
At the beginning of the week, Cosgrave took to social media to express his personal opposition to Israel’s counterattacks in Gaza.
“To repeat: War crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies & should be called out for what they are,” Cosgrave said in a Monday post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I will not relent.”
His remarks triggered a flurry of cancellations from high-profile attendees like Meta, Alphabet, Amazon and others. This year’s conference is scheduled for Nov. 13 to Nov. 16 and is set to take place in Lisbon, Portugal.
The day after he posted on X, Cosgrave issued an apology on Web Summit’s blog, saying he understood that the timing of his comments “caused profound hurt.”
“What is needed at this time is compassion, and I did not convey that,” Cosgrave said in the apology.