Adobe shares closed at $80.625 yesterday, losing $19.75 during the day following the sudden resignation of Harold L Covert, executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO).

Stocks rallied slightly to $86.25, during after-hours trading when the Nasdaq had closed.

Covert left to "pursue other opportunities" said Adobe in a statement. Murray Demo, vice president of Adobe has been named Interim CFO while a replacement is found. Demo has been with Adobe for three years, and has fifteen years of financial management experience.

John Warnock, chairman and CEO of Adobe, said: "We are excited about our future opportunities, and are on track to deliver a solid first quarter in fiscal year 2000."

Reaction on Wall Street was cautious, with Chase H&Q downgrading Adobe's stock to "market perform" from buy. President and co-founder Chuck Geschke is set to retire soon, following his keynote speech at Photoshop World 2000, though he will remain on the board of directors.