If you play on Xbox Live then there is a good chance you have in some way been effected by Stephen Toulouse, or Stepto as many know him. As Director of Policy and Enforcement for Live he is the physical embodiment of the ban hammer. You may also know him from Major Nelson’s podcast and his community play dates. While many would assume that being in a position where you have to enforce punishments on rule breakers would require a tough demeanor (see asshole), Mr. Toulouse is actually really down to earth and friendly. But after 18 years with Microsoft, he has decided to leave the company. As to why he was leaving he wrote, “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 know. I feel too strangely comfortable, and too strangely tied.” Mr. Toulouse also made sure to reiterate that his leaving had nothing to do with any specific event. According to his blog he “has been working with my management to make the transition as orderly as possible.” His last day will be February 15th.
So what does he have planned for his post Microsoft adventures. He will visit family in Dallas for a while and then proceed to take a Caribbean cruise. After that he wants to finish writing his second book, but other than that he has no plans and as he describes it is is both “scary and exciting”. We here at Front Towards Gamer wish Stepto the best of luck in whatever he decides to do next.
To read Stephen Toulouse’s full goodbye blog post go here: http://www.stepto.com/2012/02/in-which-i-leave-microsoft/