Paddy Cosgrave returns as CEO of Web Summit

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Paddy Cosgrave returns as CEO of Web Summit
Paddy Cosgrave returns as CEO of Web Summit

Web Summit, which organizes one of the biggest yearly tech conferences in the world in Lisbon and brings in about 70,000 attendees along with speakers from top digital businesses and startups worldwide, is primarily owned by Cosgrave.

Six months after stepping down as CEO of Web Summit owing to negative feedback on his remarks regarding the Gaza conflict, co-founder Paddy Cosgrave has returned to the role.

Regarding Israel’s reaction in Gaza following the Hamas strikes on October 7, the CEO tweeted on X (previously Twitter) in October, saying, “War crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies.” Cosgrave resigned from his leadership position and issued a public apology in response to heavy criticism. Several firms, including Google and Meta, withdrew from the Web Summit conference in Portugal in November.

Following Cosgrave’s retirement, Katherine Maher, the former CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation, assumed the top position. She resigned last month to take a position as CEO of National Public Radio.

Web Summit, which organizes one of the biggest yearly tech conferences in the world in Lisbon and brings in about 70,000 attendees along with speakers from top digital businesses and startups worldwide, is primarily owned by Cosgrave.

“When I stepped back last year, it was the first time I had taken time off in 15 years,” Cosgrave said in a recent statement. “I took the time to reconnect with old Web Summit friends, and I listened to what they had to say and what they wanted from Web Summit.”

The organization is now testing software to further link guests in order to make its Lisbon conference more community-driven and gregarious going future.

“Over the last year we have tested small prototype meetups for attendees in similar industries like product engineers or marketing leads,” the company said in a new statement.

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