Stephen Toulouse – the director of Microsoft’s Xbox Live policy and enforcement, will step down from his current position and head out into the unknown. Announcing the news on his personal site, he stated, “Over the past year I’ve been doing quite of bit of thinking. Nothing specific, nothing groundbreaking. Just plain old thinking. I turn 40 this year. Despite the wonderful ability in Microsoft to change careers pretty dramatically inside the company, I’ve been there nearly 18 years and it’s the only world I’ve really ever known. I feel too strangely comfortable, and too strangely tied.”
Adding to this, “On the 16th, I’m going to head down to Dallas to visit my family. Then I’m off to JocoCruiseCrazy! I have no other plans beyond that. I’m a free agent! One with 18 years of experience in technology, public and written communications, and 5 years spent deep in the entertainment business. If you have something you think I’d be good at, by all means feel free to contact me at Stepto at stepto.com. Or you can buy my book or the audio version of my book via the links to the left (shameless plug).” Toulouse says the split is amicable, and that he’s moving on for “complex and personal” reasons.
Microsoft has issued the following comment to Joystiq regarding the departure of Stephen Toulouse, and declined to name his replacement: “As you know, after more than 17 years at Microsoft, Stephen Toulouse has decided to leave the company. We thank Stephen for his years of contributions and wish him all the best. We do not have any details to share around a potential successor for Stepto at this time, but can assure you that the Xbox LIVE Enforcement Squad will continue their work to help ensure a safer and more secure experience on Xbox LIVE for our nearly 40 million members.”