Gian Piero Gasperini has been replaced as coach of Serie A side Genoa after four years at the helm, Genoa President Enrico Preziosi announced on Monday.
Gasperini - whose side slipped to 14th in the table after their second successive defeat by Palermo on Sunday - has been replaced by Davide Ballardini, who was fired by Lazio in February. Ballardini will debut as coach when Genoa host Bologna on Wednesday.
"I'm very happy," Ballardini told Genoa's official website. "I am grateful to the president Preziosi for calling me to coach the oldest team in Italy."
Gasperini had been in charge of Genoa since 2006, helping them to win promotion to Serie A in his first season in charge. He then led them to fifth place in the top flight in the 2008/09 season and qualification for Europe.
"We have a little history together, I imagine he'll be suffering like me and more," said the Genoa President. "My job is to make decisions, which may be considered unpopular, not to follow consensus. The responsibility is mine alone, I've reflected on it. Now I just want to thank the coach for his achievements and progress made together ."
Gasperini is the second Serie A coach to lose his job of late; the first being Franco Colomba, who was given his marching orders by Bologna just prior to the starts of the 2010/11 Serie A season .