Web Summit wants a fast recovery but Cosgrave’s controversy lingers

The technology event organiser is moving decisively and its new chief executive is exactly the kind of leader needed but it will take time to rebuild a damaged reputation

Katherine Maher, chief executive of Web Summit: in a world of tech bros, having a woman leading the company is significant. Picture: Horacio Villalobos/Getty

Web Summit initially dithered when Paddy Cosgrave’s tweet caused a backlash that eventually led to several companies and individual key speakers withdrawing from its flagship event in Lisbon next month.

But the speed with which it has moved to draw a line under the controversy since then has been impressive.

The appointment of Katherine Maher as Web Summit’s new chief executive last Monday should go a long way in helping the conference organiser to bounce ...