Andy Robinson has resigned as Scotland rugby coach following Saturday's shock 21-15 loss to Tonga at Pittodrie.
Robinson had been under contract until after the 2015 Rugby World Cup but has stepped down early after Tonga handed the Scots their 10th defeat in their last 13 games.
During that poor run of form, Scotland crashed out of the World Cup at the opening group phase for the first time ever and then finished with the wooden spoon in this year's RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Robinson was appointed in June 2009 and finished with 19 victories from his 35 matches in charge but the Tonga defeat followed home losses to New Zealand and South Africa.
In a statement released by the Scottish Rugby Union on Sunday, Robinson said: "It's been a privilege to be the head coach of Scotland and I'd like to thank the fans, players, coaches and staff for all their support over the years.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the players and the coaches in the last few years.
"I believe I have left the team in a better position than when I took over and have great confidence in the players and the coaches for the future.
"I am very disappointed by our recent results but I have belief that the players can develop into a winning team."
Scottish Rugby's Chief Executive Mark Dodson added: "Following the sequence of recent results during the EMC Autumn Tests a change in head coach is required to take the team forward and build towards the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
"Andy has overseen some fine results as Scotland head coach since he was appointed but the recent defeats have been very disappointing."
The search for Robinson's successor will begin right away and assistant coach Scott Johnson is a possible contender, as is former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett.
Tonga loss unacceptable
Scotland beat Australia 9-6 away in June and went on to defeat Fiji and Samoa but Robinson described Saturday's display against Tonga as "totally unacceptable".
The 48-year-old, who was a flanker for Bath, England and the Lions in his playing days, previously took over from Clive Woodward as England coach in 2004.
However, he left in 2006 after only winning nine of 22 matches, before catching Scotland's eye after a successful spell in charge of Edinburgh.