A faltering Top 14 campaign had ex-Bath coach Ford under mounting pressure but the 29-9 Champions Cup quarter-final defeat to Clermont Auvergne this weekend proved the final straw.
A brief club statement read: "Toulon rugby club and Mike Ford have parted company by mutual agreement as of Monday April 3 2017.
"Richard Cockerill will take charge of the first team, assisted by Marc Dal Maso.
"Matt Giteau has agreed to lead the backs while continuing as a player."
Cockerill will be assisted by Marc Dal Maso with Matt Giteau, who will continue in his playing role, has agreed to coach the backs.
Reports have suggested ex-France captain Fabien Galthie will take over as Toulon coach next summer.
It was anticipated that Ford might stay on in the interim, but instead former England hooker Cockerill will do so alongside forwards coach Dal Maso.