The 42-year-old was under contract until the end of the 2025/26 campaign but leaves after just 52 games in charge at Easter Road of which he won 20, drew eight, and lost 24. His two assistants, Jamie McAllister and Adam Owen, have also left the club with immediate effect with first-team coach David Gray and goalkeeping coach Stuart Garden taking interim charge of the team for the upcoming second leg of their Europa Conference League play-off encounter with Aston Villa on Thursday, and Sunday’s trip to face Aberdeen at Pittodrie on league duty.
Chief executive Ben Kensell said: “The club has taken the tough decision to relieve Lee Johnson of his duties following a disappointing start to the domestic campaign. We wish Lee and his coaching staff all the best for the future and thank them for their efforts.”
Speaking after his side lost 3-2 to Livingston on Saturday, Johnson said: “I hope the board sticks with me, I really do, because I want to be here. I’d never throw the towel in. I understand there will be fans calling for my head, but I genuinely believe that we’ll turn things around.
"We're trying to compete on all fronts and it's proved to be a little bit too much for us. It does happen, and it has happened all over Europe, but it's not acceptable to have zero points from three games with the teams that we've played."
Large sections of the Hibs support could be heard calling for Johnson’s head during the loss to David Martindale’s side while both the half-time and full-time whistles were met with jeers from the three stands housing home fans.
Johnson’s departure means the Capital club is now searching for their third permanent manager inside two years; with Jack Ross having been dismissed on December 9 2021 and his successor Shaun Maloney sacked on April 19 2022. Gray will now lead the team for a third temporary stint after his previous spells as caretaker manager following the exits of Ross and Maloney.