Dieter Hecking will not be in charge of Borussia Monchengladbach next season, the Bundesliga club confirmed on Tuesday.
Hecking's side finished ninth last term and are fifth this season, but Saturday's 3-1 loss at Fortuna Dusseldorf dented their Champions League qualification hopes.
Sporting director Max Eberl insisted that surprise defeat, Gladbach's fourth setback in seven Bundesliga games, was not the only reason why Hecking is being replaced ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
"Yesterday, I went to see Dieter Hecking and I told him that we would not be working together after the summer," Eberl told a news conference.
"It's a decision which I, as the sporting director, have taken. It is a strategic decision for the future of the club and it was very, very difficult for me to tell Dieter.
"It has nothing to do with the current events, the things that were being said about the Dusseldorf game and decisions needing to be taken. That is not true, it is a decision I've taken for the future of the club.
"If I wasn't convinced of Dieter Hecking's qualities, and if I saw our goals in jeopardy, then I wouldn't be sitting here alongside him, but alone instead because I would have released him immediately."
Former Nurnberg and Wolfsburg boss Hecking accepted it was tough to be informed of Eberl's decision but promised to give his all for the remaining weeks of the season.
"I believe that decisions like this one are never easy. Neither for the sporting director to take them, nor for the coach to accept them," Hecking told reporters.
"That's why Max said it the right way, in that it has been a huge disappointment for me, there's no doubt about that. That disappointment still prevails.
"But, and I see this now with all the experience I have, if a club and Max Eberl, who has a great reputation in the business, decide they need a new strategy and to go in a new direction, then he absolutely has the right to do that.
"As a coach, all I have to do is take care of the tasks assigned to me, which is going through the last seven games of the season. That's part of being a coach.
"I have always given the club my all and I will continue to do so with one goal, to take Borussia back to Europe, where they want to be."
Hecking has presided over more Bundesliga games than any other coach, 411, since taking charge of Hannover for the first time in the competition in August 2006.