Andy Robinson has resigned as Scotland coach following Saturday's shock 21-15 loss to Tonga at Pittodrie.
He had been under contract until after the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Robinson released a statement on Sunday morning which 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 in the players to develop into a winning team."
Scotland have lost 10 of their last 13 matches, including elimination from the World Cup at the group phase for the first time.
The Tonga defeat was the 19th in Robinson's 35 matches in charge and comes at the end of a calendar year which began with the Six Nations wooden spoon.
Robinson's most recent wins were on the June tour to Australia, Fiji and Samoa, and his era ends following a 51-22 loss to New Zealand, a 21-10 reverse to South Africa and the Tonga debacle which leaves Scotland in 12th in the provisional IRB world rankings.
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson hinted Robinson would have been pushed if he had not jumped.
"Following the sequence of recent results during the autumn Tests a change in head coach is required to take the team forward and build towards the Rugby World Cup in 2015," said Dodson.
"I have passed on to Andy Scottish Rugby's thanks for his hard work and commitment during his term as national coach.
"Andy has overseen some fine results as Scotland head coach since he was appointed in June 2009 but the recent defeats have been very disappointing.
"Andy is an outstanding leader and a fine coach and we wish him well.
"I'd like to thank our fans for their great support during the autumn Tests and look forward to welcoming them to Murrayfield for the home games against Italy, Ireland and Wales in the 2013 Six Nations."
The search for Robinson's successor will begin immediately, with assistant coach Scott Johnson a contender.
Former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett may also consider the role worth the challenge.