It is understood that the board met to begin collating a shortlist from which they will appoint the club's sixth permanent manager in just five years.
The first team will be looked after by Kevin Ball, the club's development coach, who also had a 10-match spell as caretaker following the departure of Mick McCarthy in March 2006. Ball will return to the dugout for Sunderland's Capital One Cup third round tie against Peterborough United this evening.
The Stadium of Light will once more become a showroom for potential managers to peer into, although bookmakers have already installed former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo as favourite to be appointed as successor to Di Canio. Among the other names to be linked to the post are Gus Poyet, Alex McLeish and Steve McClaren, while Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, has effectively ruled himself out of the running.
The support for Di Matteo to be given the job follows his success while at Stamford Bridge, but also his perceived ability to slot into the existing set up at Sunderland. Italians Roberto De Fanti, the club's director of football, and chief scout Valentino Angeloni, who presided over the recruitment of 14 summer signings, both remain in place.
Di Canio suffered for his inability to pick up more than one point from the club's opening five league fixtures this term, so any new manager will be faced with a squad in need of both momentum and morale. They could also require a way to offset the potential loss of Scotland striker Steven Fletcher, who suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder at the weekend.