Quark co-founder and joint-chief, Tim Gill (right), has left the desktop-publishing giant.

Quark's European marketing manager Gavin Drake confirmed the news: "Tim Gill is no longer an owner or chairman of Quark, and no longer involved in running the company." Until now, ownership of the company had been split between Gill and Quark's CEO, Fred Ebrahimi.

Drake added that Gill had been gradually stepping back from the day-to-day running of the company, and confirmed months of industry speculation, saying: "He ceased to act as chief technology officer several months ago."

Charity Gill has resigned from his duties, and sold his holdings in the company in order to concentrate on philanthropic pursuits. ZDNet reports a memo circulated to employees by Gill, in which he said: "You can't take money with you, and giving it away has been consuming more and more of my time."

It is thought that Gill will be devoting his time to the Gill Foundation, which funds gay and lesbian groups, and also causes that assist children, the arts and public broadcasting.

Gill founded the fund in 1994 in reaction to anti-gay legislation passed by Colorado voters that year. The laws were repealed after they were found unconstitutional. Gill has given $165 million to the fund since its inception.

Drake says: "Everyone in Quark has a great deal of admiration and respect for Gill, and wishes him the very best in the future. He expects Quark to move forward with its next generation of products."