Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been sacked after only eight months in charge at the Allianz Arena.
The German giants lost 1-0 to Schalke on Saturday, a result that leaves them third in the league and in danger of missing Champions League qualification.
Bayern also crashed out of Europe at the quarter-final stage of this year's Champions League after an emphatic 5-1 aggregate defeat by Barcelona.
Former coach Jupp Heynckes will take charge for the remainder of the season.
"We did not come to this decision lightly," club chairman Karl-Heinze Rummenigge said in a statement.
"But the results of the past weeks, the way in which they came about and above all, the situation we find ourselves in five games before the end of the season forced us to act out of a sense of responsibility to the club."
Klinsmann reacted to his sacking by thanked the club's fans and employees for "an eventful time".
"Of course, I am very disappointed at the moment. We have laid the foundation for the future," he said.
"I still believe that this team can become German champions this season."
The club website stated that the decision had been taken as a result of the board's concern that the club "may not achieve its minimum targets for the season".
Klinsmann had returned to the club he represented as a player, tasked with restoring them as a force in Europe - his coaching reputation established by Germany's impressive World Cup campaign in 2006 where he guided them to the semi-finals before being beaten by eventual winners Italy.
He had been criticised before the tournament for his insistence on dividing his time between his homeland and the USA, where he was impressed by the psychological preparation undergone by athletes.
But his unorthodox training methods failed to win over either the fans or the Bayern hierarchy as the side struggled in the defence of its Bundesliga title, despite some solid European form.
Heynckes, who has guided Bayern to two league titles in the past and has also coached Borussia Moenchengladbach and Real Madrid, will be assisted by current reserve team coach Hermann Gerland.
News of Klinsmann's departure, along with his assistants Martin Vasquez and Nick Theslof, came following reports that the club had approached Arsenal to enquire about the availability of manager Arsene Wenger.