Tony Mowbray lost his final home game as Sunderland boss when his side were beaten by Huddersfield Town last week
Championship side Sunderland have sacked head coach Tony Mowbray after 15 months in charge.
The Black Cats have won just two of their past nine league games and have slipped to ninth, having made the play-offs last season.
Mowbray, 60, took over at Sunderland in August last year after Alex Neil left the club to join Stoke City.
"This was a difficult decision to make," sporting director Kristjaan Speakman told the club website.external-link
"But we remain loyal to our ambition and our strategy, and felt that now was the right moment to take this step.
"We are now focused on identifying the right candidate and we will continue to support our coaching team and players throughout the interim period."
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Chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said Mowbray would "always be welcome" at Sunderland.
He added: "As custodians of our great club, we believe in our long-term strategy that we hope will ensure sustainability and success for SAFC.
"Central to that approach is a relentless demand for a high performance culture to be implemented throughout the club and the development of a strong playing identity that you, our loyal supporters, can all be proud of."
Mowbray's long-time assistant, Mark Venus, has also left the club, with first-team coach Mike Dodds placed in temporary charge.
Sunderland, who play one of Mowbray's former clubs West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, were fourth in the table after beating Watford on 4 October.
But last weekend's 1-1 draw at Millwall made it five games without a win on their travels, with Jack Clarke's late penalty their first away goal in four matches.
Despite slipping to ninth, Sunderland remain only three points off a play-off spot.
After replacing Neil early last season, Mowbray guided the Black Cats to a sixth-placed finish in their first season back in the Championship.
Although they beat Luton 2-1 at the Stadium of Light in the home leg of the play-off semi-final, they lost 2-0 at Kenilworth Road to the Hatters, who went on to win promotion to the Premier League by beating Coventry City on penalties at Wembley.