Top Microsoft Executive Is Taking a Year Off and the Company Is 'Completely Supportive'

"When you have young kids, you see the time going by really fast," he said.

— -- One of the most public faces of Microsoft is stepping away from his work to go on a new adventure: sailing around the world with his wife and children.

Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's vice president of operating systems, announced on his Facebook page he will step away from the daily grind with plans to return to Microsoft sometime next summer.

"When you have young kids, you see the time going by really fast," he wrote. "SO ... after dreaming about the idea for years ... and with our kids getting ALMOST too old for something crazy ... we’ve decided that we are going to take our family on the EDUCATIONAL TRIP OF OUR LIFETIME."

First up for the Belfiore family will be a trip to the Northeast in the United States. They'll set sail in January with Semester at Sea, traveling the world with hundreds of college students and other "lifelong learners," according to Belfiore.

"We think a floating college campus will be an amazing environment for everyone in our family to get a chance to see and experience the diversity all around the world and better appreciate what we have here," he said. "We’ve coveted the opportunity to spend a lot of time with each other and our kids -- and we’re taking advantage of it while we can!"

Belfiore, who has been with Microsoft for the past 25 years, said management at the software company has been "completely supportive" of his extended leave of absence.

"As for me and my job ... when the trip is over, I’ll be right back at it!" he said.