Quark CEO Kamar Aulakh - credited with transforming the privately-held firm's strategic direction - has left the company.

The company says: "Effective immediately, Kamar Aulakh is no longer with the company".

While a replacement is found, Linda Chase, senior vice president of commerce product development (and with the company since 1998), has been appointed by the board as acting president of the company.

"The company has initiated a search for a CEO to bring professional outside leadership. Quark has retained executive search firm Christian & Timbers to lead the search," the company said.

Chase has been leading the QuarkCommerce business unit since 1998, and has extensive experience across Quark's business, the company said.

Reasons for Aulakh's departure have not yet been disclosed.