Several major tech companies, such as Google, Meta, Amazon, Intel, Siemens, and Stripe, have been withdrawing from the largest IT conference in Europe, Web Summit. This decision comes following Paddy Cosgrave, the CEO of Web Summit, posting criticisms of Western politicians who support Israel in its conflict with Hamas.
Web Summit organizes conferences across Europe, with its flagship event being Web Summit Europe in Lisbon, Portugal. The event for this year is scheduled to take place from November 13th to 16th, 2023.
Amid the growing tensions between Israel and Hamas, Cosgrave, who is originally from Ireland, expressed his views by criticizing Israel’s alleged “war crimes” and liking tweets supporting Hamas. This has led to dissatisfaction among prominent Israeli startup entrepreneurs and subsequent withdrawals from participating in Web Summit. Notable figures who have withdrawn include Garry Tan, the CEO of Y Combinator, a famous startup incubator in the United States.
The issue surrounding Web Summit has also affected major companies like Meta, Google, Amazon, Stripe, Intel, and Siemens, all of whom have withdrawn from the event (despite Google being a major sponsor).
Cosgrave has publicly apologized on the Web Summit website, acknowledging that his words have had a negative impact on the Israeli people. He genuinely seeks peace and understanding between both parties.
TLDR: Following Paddy Cosgrave’s criticism of Western politicians supporting Israel in its conflict with Hamas, several major tech companies, including Google, Meta, Amazon, Intel, Siemens, and Stripe, have withdrawn from Web Summit, the largest IT conference in Europe. This has prompted renowned Israeli startup entrepreneurs and other international figures to also withdraw from the event. Cosgrave has apologized and emphasized his desire for peace and understanding between both sides.