The controversial Italian seemed to have become an instant hit on Wearside after securing a 3-0 derby win at St James' Park in just his second game, before following up with a 1-0 victory over Everton to pull the Black Cats away from the relegation zone.
Last season ended in something of a whimper but after a summer of spending, more was expected this time around and Di Canio has been unable to deliver.
Sunderland have picked up just one point from their opening five league games and the hugely disappointing 3-0 defeat at West Brom on Saturday has proven to be the final straw.
A club statement read: "Sunderland AFC confirms that it has parted company with head coach Paolo Di Canio this evening.
"Kevin Ball will take charge of the squad ahead of Tuesday night's Capital One Cup game against Peterborough United and an announcement will be made in due course regarding a permanent successor.
"The club would like to place on record its thanks to Paolo and his staff and wishes them well for the future."
Di Canio had been suggesting that time was needed for his raft of summer signings to gel together but that is something he has not been given.
The 45-year-old has been dismissed after just 13 games in charge with Sunderland, propping up the table, facing a tricky run of league fixtures in the shape of Liverpool, Manchester United, Swansea and Newcastle United.