Italian manager Rolando Maran is the bookmakers' favourite to replace David Hockaday as Leeds United manager after owner Massimo Cellino lost patience after just six games of the new season.
Defeat to Bradford City in the League Cup second round on Tuesday was the fourth of Hockaday's short reign in charge following his surprise appointment in June.
Hockaday becomes the second manager removed by owner Cellino since he officially took over Leeds in April, with Brian McDermott dismissed in May. Neil Redfearn is in temporary charge until further notice.
"I'd like to thank David for his efforts over the last two and a half months but the results since the start of the season have meant we needed to act and make this decision," Leeds owner Cellino said.
"After the defeat at Bradford I realised that my decision to keep David at the club following the defeat at Watford was wrong and I had to change my mind on the coaches position.
"As a club we will now begin our search for a new head coach."
Maran is the favourite for the role ahead of ex-Brighton and Hove Albion boss Oscar Garcia, former Leeds captain and manager Gary McAllister and Benito Carbone, who left his position as Under-21 coach at Elland Road in August due to family reasons.
Following a mixed career in the lower echelons of the Italian league football, Maran joined Serie A side Catania in June 2012 but was sacked on two occasions before eventually departing in April.
The move would represent the second unlikely appointment of the reign of Leeds owner Cellino, who sacked 36 managers in 20 years as Cagliari chief, after Hockaday was hired during the summer despite only having non-league managerial experience.
During a summer of upheaval at the west Yorkshire club over 30 players and come and gone, including club captain and last season's leading scorer Ross McCormack, but Hockaday has seemingly been given little time to adapt.
Following the 2-1 loss to Bradford City, which came as Luke Murphy was dismissed in the first half, Hockaday was determined to fight for his future.
"My emotion is one of determination," he said. "I'm not a quitter, I'm a fighter.
"I just feel that for myself and my team things aren't going our way. In the dressing room they're devastated – and yet they're all saying 'we'll turn this around.'
"We're looking at Bolton on Saturday and we'll be in (for training) today. We're getting some bad press at the moment, some of it self-inflicted, but anyone looking at those white shirts knows we've put a shift in."