Paddy Cosgrave,co- founder of Web Summit in 2009, and an Irish entrepreneur had announced his resignation on Saturday.Web Summit is a European Tech Conference that brings together thousands of leading tech startups and firms.
This resignation comes after receiving backlash for his views he expressed on X, formerly Twitter.
Table of Contents
Paddy Cosgrave and his post on X
His resignation came after his statement on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war sparked reactions from the attendees of the conference. Referring to Israel’s counter strikes on Vaza following Hamas attacks on October 7, he had said that War crimes are war crimes and should be called out for what they are, even when they are committed by allies, on his post on X. He drew criticism from the people on social media.
Following this he also issued an apology as a blog post. He said that, Unfortunately his personal comments became a distraction from the event,their sponsors,team, startups and the people who attended. While also saying that he sincerely apologises for any hurt he has caused to anyone.
He also said in the blog post that what is needed at this time is compassion,which he didn’t convey. The aim was always to strive for peace,and he hope with all his heart that this could be achieved.
The apology came after the investors, and tech companies who were supposed to attend the conference said they would be missing it.
The event is scheduled to be held from 13th November to 16th November, in Lisbon. The mega event is going to host around 2,300 startups and more than 70,000 people.
Companies withdrew participation
After Mr Cosgrave’s post, tech company Google’s spokesperson announced that the company won’t be attending the summit. It is also one of the event partners of the summit. Amazon ,Mera ,Seimens AG and Intel too wouldn’t be attending the meet,they announced.
Accel CEO Philippe Botteri and tech investor said on a LinkedIn post that he has attended the Summit in the past many times however in light of the comments by the founder,he has no other choice but to cancel his participation.Ori Goshen from AI21 Labs, Keith Peiris of Time, Ravi Gupta of Sequoia Capital Partner, Yinon Costica , co-founder of cybersecurity unicorn Wiz said that they have decided to withdraw their participation from the summit.
A prominent figure in Silicon Valley,Garry Tan kicked off the boycott with other big names following suit.
The Web Summit now plans to move forward with the event in November,while also hiring a new CEO.
His resignation comes as many professionals and students face repurcussiions for their views on Israel- Hamas war. More than a dozen business executives have pledged to blacklist students of Harvard belonging to groups that signed a letter which blamed Israel for the violence and its latest outbreak, at the same time many journalists have been fired or suspended due to their posts which are critical of Israel or are pro- Palestine.
Several Hollywood A-listers, like Cate Blanchett, Susan Sarandon have urged the US President Joe Biden to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.