Ranieri’s last game in charge was Friday’s damaging 3-0 home defeat by fellow strugglers Norwich City.
“The Hornets’ Board recognises Claudio as a man of great integrity and honour, who will always be respected here at Vicarage Road for his efforts in leading the team with dignity,” Watford said in a statement.
“However the board feels that, with nearly half of the Premier League campaign remaining, a change in the head coach position now will give a new appointment sufficient time… to achieve the immediate goal of retaining Premier League status.”
Watford, promoted last season, are in 19th position after seven defeats and one draw in their last eight games.
Watford Football Club confirms the departure of Head Coach Claudio Ranieri.The Hornets’ Board recognises Claudio… https://t.co/rMcdoT48zB
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) 1643047209000
The 70-year-old Ranieri took charge in October after Xisco Munoz parted ways with the club just seven league games into the season and with Watford in 14th place.
It continues the revolving door policy operated by the club’s owner Gino Pozzo who has made 13 managerial appointments in his nine years in charge of the club.
Italian Ranieri is best known in England for guiding Leicester City to a fairytale Premier League title in 2016 but he failed to work his magic at Watford and gained only seven points.
The highlight was a 4-1 victory over Manchester United in November that triggered Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.
Watford was Ranieri’s fourth spell in the Premier League, after he worked at Chelsea and Fulham as well as Leicester.