Everton have confirmed that manager Sam Allardyce has left the club.
The former England boss was hired by the Goodison Park side on November 30 after Ronald Koeman was sacked following a disappointing start to the season.
Although Allardyce successfully lifted the Toffees away from the relegation zone and up to eighth in the standings, his defensive style was criticised by fans, who booed the team regularly towards the end of the season.
Everton scored only 44 goals in 38 outings in the league, the second lowest tally of all teams outside the bottom six, and with the future in mind, the club have decided to make a change.
A statement from the club reads: "Everton Football Club can confirm that Sam Allardyce has left his role as manager."
Director Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “On behalf of the chairman, board of directors and [owner] Mr Farhad Moshiri, I’d like to thank Sam for the job he has done at Everton over the last seven months. Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that.
“However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately. Again, we’d like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sam for his work with us over the last few months and wish him well for the future.”
Former Watford boss Marco Silva is the leading candidate to step into the Goodison Park hotseat.
He appeared to be the club's first choice last autumn when the vacancy first arose, yet the Hornets refused the 40-year-old permission to speak to the Merseyside club. He was subsequently sacked from that role as results slipped, with the Watford board claiming that Everton's overtures had caused the slump.
The statement released by the Vicarage Road side said: "The club is convinced the appointment of Silva was the right one and had it not been for the unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival for his services we would have continued to prosper under his leadership.
"The catalyst for this decision is that unwarranted approach, something which the board believes has seen a significant deterioration in both focus and results to the point where the long-term future of Watford FC has been jeopardised.
"For the security and success of the football club, the board believes it has to make a change."
Allardyce, meanwhile, had been confident of staying on for another year.
Speaking on April 27, he said: "We discussed plans for next season yesterday with Farhad Moshiri. I think we have some clarity moving forward now.
"I think our pre-season, in terms of when we start back and where we go, is nearly in place.
"Regarding ins and outs of players, it is a wait-and-see basis in terms of what we can try and achieve and then, under those circumstances, what players do we move on."
The Everton role was Allardyce's 11th permanent managerial post but fifth since 2015.