Organizers of Web Summit, which gathered over 70,000 participants last year, stated that the event would still take place in Lisbon next month, and a new CEO would be appointed soon.

Paddy Cosgrave, an Irish entrepreneur who founded Web Summit and has been leading the event since 2009, announced his departure after several companies, including Google, Meta, Amazon, and Intel, withdrew from the event following his comments.

Last week, he wrote on Twitter that he was shocked by the rhetoric of many Western leaders and governments in response to Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip following a terrorist attack by Hamas, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,300 people.

"War crimes remain war crimes, even if committed by allies, and should be recognized as such," Cosgrave wrote, referring to Israel's wave of attacks on Gaza following Hamas violence.

His statement caused outrage, and venture capitalists, founders of Israeli startups, and major tech companies decided to boycott the Web Summit, an annual conference that has brought together some of the industry's leading figures and companies for the past 14 years.

David Marcus, the former head of Facebook who oversaw the company's cryptocurrency project, was among those who criticized Cosgrave, writing on Twitter, "I'm saddened by your ill-informed position. You could have taken a more nuanced position by condemning these atrocities and calling for restraint. That would have been acceptable. You chose to support terrorists. So, I will never attend/sponsor/speak at any of your events again."

As the boycott movement gained momentum, Cosgrave attempted to backtrack on his comments with a post on Twitter: "We are devastated to see the horrific loss of life and the level of innocent casualties on both sides in Israel and Gaza. We condemn the attacks by Hamas and extend our deepest condolences to all those who have lost loved ones. We hope for a peaceful resolution."

However, he then reiterated his previous statement, saying, "I'll repeat: war crimes remain war crimes, even when committed by allies, and should be exposed for what they are."

With everyone else withdrawing from the event, Cosgrave issued apologies in an attempt to mitigate the consequences. He wrote, "I understand that what I said, the timing of when I said it, and how it was framed caused deep pain to many."

However, the pressure continued to mount, and on Saturday, Cosgrave announced his resignation as the leader of Web Summit. "Unfortunately, my personal comments have become a distraction from the event itself, as well as from our team, sponsors, startups, and people who attend it," he wrote on the event's website.

It remains unclear what will happen to Cosgrave's stake in Web Summit, which, according to company records in Ireland, is approximately 81%. Publicly available data shows that in 2021, the last year for which records are available, the event generated a profit of around $4 million.