Paddy Cosgrave has returned as chief executive officer of Web Summit.

The founder and chief executive of Europe’s largest annual technology conference had previously resigned his roles in October 2023 after controversial comments he made about the Israel-Hamas war.

Announcing his return as chief executive he said: “When I stepped back last year, it was the first time I had taken time off in 15 years.

“It gave me time to think about Web Summit, its history, why I started it on my own from my bedroom and what I wanted it to be.

“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.

“Some incredible tech advancements, relationships, partnerships, and companies have grown from our events and I want to continue building on this.

How Lisbon tech scene caused Web Summit to move from Dublin

“If anything I want to supercharge this mission even further to build even stronger communities within Web Summit.

“In a very real sense, as Web Summit becomes bigger, our aim should be to make it smaller for our attendees. More intimate. More convivial. More community focused.

“We will seed small communities at our events, and then help those communities thrive long after each event.

“I’m incredibly excited for the future with loads more to share.”

He made no comment about his controversial 2023 posts but news of his return as CEO has been broadly welcomed with several supportive messages on LinkedIn.

Cosgrave previously resigned after several companies withdrew their support for last November’s Web Summit in Lisbon.

Speaking at the time he said: “I understand that what I said, the timing of what I said, and the way it has been presented has caused profound hurt to many. To anyone who was hurt by my words, I apologise deeply.

“What is needed at this time is compassion, and I did not convey that. My aim is and always has been to strive for peace. Ultimately, I hope with all my heart that this can be achieved.

“Like so many figures globally, I also believe that, in defending itself, Israel should adhere to international law and the Geneva Conventions – ie, not commit war crimes. This belief applies equally to any state in any war. No country should breach these laws, even if atrocities were committed against it.

“I have always been anti-war and pro-international law. It is precisely at our darkest moments that we must try to uphold the principles that make us civilised.”

Beware the investor that offers too much money