Tepper will begin a search for a new coach immediately.
According to a league source, the Panthers chose to let Rivera go before the end of the season because team owner David Tepper wanted to get ahead in the coaching search.
Secondary coach Perry Fewell was named interim head coach Tuesday.
The Riverboat Ron era is over in Carolina.
Rivera had a 12-16 record the past two seasons after Tepper spent an NFL-record $2.275 billion to purchase the Panthers from longtime owner Jerry Richardson. In nine seasons Rivera guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance, an NFC championship and three NFC South titles. This season, the Panthers are 5-7 and are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Rivera was dealt a tough hand in 2019 as quarterback Cam Newton went down after Week 2 and ultimately landed on injured reserve. They blew a 14-0 home lead on Sunday to the lowly Redskins. Previous year the team was 6-2 but lost seven straight games and finished 7-9. Here's what owner David Tepper said about the decision, per the team's official website.
"We are going to take a comprehensive and thorough review of our football operation to make sure we are structured for long-term sustained success", continued Tepper. We will consider a wide range of football executives to complement our current football staff.
The team reached its peak under Rivera in the 2015 season, when they went 15-1 and made it to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Broncos.
Nevertheless, the National Football League is, always has been and always will be a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of business.
Tepper likely will let the new general manager and head coach make the final decision on Newton, 30, who is entering the final year of his contract.
Kyle Allen has filled in for Newton this season at quarterback and is 5-5 as a starter.