Frank Petrilli will be interim chief executive officer for E-Trade Financial, succeeding Steven Freiberg, who was dismissed, the online trading company said.
Rodger Lawson was appointed as lead independent director and will be a representative for the non-management directors, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company said in a release.
Petrilli, who has served on E-Trade's board since January 2012, will remain as board chairman.
A search committee was formed to find a permanent CEO, E-Trade said.
The board's decision to dismiss Freiberg came after it discussed his performance during a meeting Wednesday, people familiar with the situation told The Wall Street Journal.
The company recently unveiled a strategy designed to strengthening the company's core brokerage business while placing less emphasis on its banking products.
Petrilli, in a statement Thursday called the brokerage business "the heart of the company."
"The board believes it is an appropriate time to transition the role of CEO to a new leader to guide the company through the next phase of its evolution," he said.