Microsoft's CEO is returning to an event that got him in trouble last year -- but he's just there to listen

Satya NadellaMicrosoftMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is returning to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC for short), to be held in Houston this week.

But this time, he’ll only be in the audience.

Last year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke on stage at the Grace Hopper Celebration — and ended up in hot water.

This year, Nadella and other Microsoft execs will be in attendance at the Grace Hopper Celebration, but not to speak.

A Microsoft spokesperson clarifies that contrary to earlier media reports, Nadella wasn’t offered a slot on stage, and he didn’t ask for one.

“It’s good karma”

At last year’s event, when asked his advice for women who are uncomfortable asking for a raise, Nadella said: “It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise … It’s good karma. It will come back.”

Nadella quickly apologised, saying that he “answered the question all wrong,” and that “without a doubt I wholeheartedly support programs at Microsoft and in the industry that bring more women into technology and close the pay gap.”

This year, Nadella and company will be there simply to soak it all in and learn as much as they can from GHC’s 12,000 attendees.

A Microsoft spokesperson says that the company doesn’t want to take the focus away from those who are speaking, including one of the first public appearances from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg after the untimely passing of her husband over the summer.

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