Cardiff Blues director of rugby Phil Davies has resigned after his side's recent run of poor results.
Bottom side Zebre completed the double over Cardiff Blues in the Pro12 with a 15-10 win in Parma on Saturday.
Davies, 50, was appointed as Cardiff Blues coach in May 2012.
"This is a decision that I've not taken lightly, but one that I've made in view of my future career and my past experiences in professional rugby," Davies said.
"I've enjoyed the role and the leadership, processes and the high-performance elements.
"I feel this is the right time for me to look to the next challenge and other opportunities in performance development."
The defeat to Zebre left the Blues in 10th place, two from bottom, and Davies met with members of the region's board on Monday.
Whatever guise the European Cup takes next season the Blues' position in the Pro12 table means they face a struggle to qualify, having been involved in Europe's top competition every season since their formation.
Assistant coaches Dale McIntosh and Paul John will take charge of the team for the remaining six games of the season while the search for a successor begins.
Former Worcester, Scarlets and Leeds coach Davies succeeded Dai Young, who left for Wasps before the 2011-12 season.
Following Young's departure the Blues appointed forwards coach Justin Burnell and backs coach Gareth Baber as interim coaches.
Former Llanelli and Wales forward Davies, who helped guide the Warriors back to English rugby's top flight in 2012, then took over.
Davies, who won 46 Test caps, led the Scarlets to their last Heineken Cup semi-final in 2007 before he was sacked the following season.
Before that, he led the Leeds Tykes from National League Three to Heineken Cup rugby and lifted the Powergen Cup at Twickenham in 2005.
He then went on to coach Wales Under-20 and Welsh Premiership side Cardiff RFC before taking up his role at Worcester.
Blues chief executive Richard Holland said: "I've always enjoyed a strong relationship with Phil and would like to thank him for his contribution to Cardiff Blues during his tenure.
"Throughout his time at the region, Phil has worked passionately to develop the right infrastructure here and a pathway for aspiring players and coaches.
"He has overseen a period of massive change and I'm sure in the future we will see the benefits of his work.
"We now look to take the region forward with new leadership and, on behalf of all the staff at the Blues, I would like to wish Phil and his family every success in the future."