Kenny Dalglish has been sacked as manager of Liverpool just 16 months into his second spell in charge of the football club.
"After a careful and deliberative review of the season, the club came to the decision that a change was appropriate, the team's US owners said in a statement .
"It was not a decision that was reached lightly or hastily. The search for a new manager will begin immediately."
Dalglish's contract termination comes after he guided the team to a disappointing eighth place in the Premier League .
In response to the announcement, Dalglish said in a statement : "It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool Football Club as manager.
"I want to put on record my heartfelt gratitude to Liverpool's fans, who have always given me and the club their unwavering support.
"Without them neither the club nor I would have achieved anything."
Dalglish, who had signed a three-year contract, led Liverpool to their first trophy in six years with the Carling Cup.
He also took the team to the FA Cup final , but fell well short of the owner's target of finishing in the top four of the Premier League.
Sky's Chris Skudder said: "Liverpool is a global brand and its owners want it up high in the league because of the income it can generate."
Owners John Henry and Tom Werner - who also own the Boston Red Sox - parted ways after Dalglish flew to the US for talks on May 14, following Liverpool's finish 17 points behind fourth-place Tottenham.
Problems occurred both on and off the field. He suffered widespread criticism for joining players by wearing a t-shirt in a show of support for Luis Suarez, who had been accused of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra .
He called the Football Association handling of the racism charge a "joke", and in an age of slick images presented to the sport's worldwide fanbase the veteran Dalglish struggled with positive PR.
In February, tensions with bosses appeared as he apologised for "conduct not befitting of a Liverpool manager" during a TV interview after a league defeat at Manchester United.
"Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving the football club, I can say that the matter has been handled by the owners and all concerned in an honourable, respectful and dignified way," Dalglish said.
"And (it) reflects on the quality of the people involved and their continued desire to move the football club forward in the same way as when they arrived here."
As a football manager Dalglish has won three league titles - one with Blackburn Rovers - two FA Cups and the Carling Cup.
As a player he won numerous honours, including six English league titles and three European Cups.
Although he sacked Dalglish, principal owner Mr Henry praised the outgoing manager.
"Kenny will always be more than a championship-winning manager, more than a championship-winning star player.
"He is in many ways the heart and soul of the club. He personifies everything that is good about Liverpool Football Club," he said.
"He has always put the club and its supporters first. Kenny will always be a part of the family at Anfield."
Dalglish returned for a second spell at Liverpool after Roy Hodgson was sacked in January 2011 .
:: Earlier, England's new manager Hodgson announced the national team's 23-man line-up for Euro 2012.