Dublin, Ireland - The leadership of Web Summit, one of the world's leading technology conferences, has undergone a significant change.
Katherine Maher, former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, has taken over as CEO following the resignation of Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave.
The move comes just ahead of Web Summit's flagship conference in Lisbon from November 14-16, which is expected to attract some 70,000 attendees from the technology industry and beyond.
The leadership change was prompted by Cosgrave's controversial comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which led to public outrage and calls for a boycott of the event.
Why it matters:
The appointment of Katherine Maher as Web Summit's new CEO marks a significant change for one of the world's largest tech conferences.
This change comes amid the controversial departure of its founder, Paddy Cosgrave, over controversial comments on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
What has happened so far
Cosgrave's departure was sparked by controversy over tweets he made criticizing Israel's military response to a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
The comments sparked backlash and calls for a boycott of the Web Summit.
In a statement, Cosgrave said he was "deeply sorry" that his comments had caused hurt, though he maintained his opposition to terrorism and support for Israel's right to self-defense.
He reiterated his belief that Israel should continue to abide by international law.
Maher's appointment marks a new chapter for Web Summit following the tumultuous departure of its founder.
In her introductory letter as CEO, Maher emphasized Web Summit's open format, which facilitates discussions among diverse attendees, including startups, corporations, engineers, politicians, and more.
WHAT THEY SAY:
"I deeply regret that my comments have caused hurt," - Paddy Cosgrave on his controversial tweets.
"I believe in the mission of Web Summit - to connect people and ideas that change the world," - Katherine Maher on her vision as the new CEO.
Web Summit takes place November 14-16 in Lisbon, the first marquee event under new CEO Katherine Maher.
With some 70,000 attendees expected, all eyes will be on Maher as she looks to usher in a new era following the controversial departure of its founder.