The chief executive at desktop publishing software firm Quark has unexpectedly left the company.
Kamar Aulakh had been at the helm since January 2004, having joined Quark in 1995 to head up the company's research and design efforts.
The board of directors has appointed Linda Chase, senior vice president for commerce product development, as acting chief executive while the company looks for a permanent replacement.
Quark declined to provide any details as to the sudden departure of its chief executive.
The company has been plagued by internal problems, a fall in market share and dwindling customer satisfaction.
Quark's flagship product is QuarkXpress, which is credited with being the first graphics layout software on the market.
Once the largest supplier in the field, Quark has face fierce competition from Adobe's InDesign, which won over designers by offering a complete line-up of creative software titles including Photoshop, Illustrator and GoLive.
Quark also suffered after a delay in making its software available for Apple's OS X platform.
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