"Directors resolved that it was not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation", he said in a statement on Monday.
But board chairman Justin Milne insisted no one from the government put any pressure on the board to sack her just two-and-a-half years into the job.
"This decision has been driven by our commitment to deliver the best possible outcomes for our loyal audiences and the best possible experience for our own people", he said.
The former Google executive said at no time had her plan to modernise the ABC come under fire, and that she had been effective in delivering on her state goals of shaking up Aunty.
Michelle Guthrie, one of the highest profile women executives in worldwide television, has been fired as managing director of public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She was smart and we were excited.
Ms Guthrie, a former Foxtel and Google executive and media lawyer, has been a controversial figure at the ABC as she managed tighter budgets along with leading expansion into new business areas.
"I am devastated by the board's decision to terminate my employment despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part".
"I've got to say, I'm perplexed".
China blocks Twitch game-streaming service
Subsequently, the streaming service rapidly increased in popularity - becoming the third-most popular free app on the App Store. Chinese gamers flocked to Twitch to cheer on their favorite players at the tournament, which was held in Jakarta last month.
"I recognise the challenges involved in transitions of this kind but I am honoured to accept the Board's invitation and look forward to working with our outstanding people to execute our strategy", he said in a statement.
The broadcaster lost substantial government funding on Guthrie's watch, with many connecting the gaffes to the cuts.
David Anderson, the ABC's director of entertainment and specialist divisions, will act as managing director while a search commences for a new permanent boss.
"The board has given long and detailed consideration to this serious matter".
Long-time ABC critic and Liberal MP Eric Abetz said Guthrie's replacement must bring to an end "the frolics masquerading as news and "comedy" from some ABC employees".
March 2017: The ABC boss announces sweeping changes at the ABC, including axing a fifth of management, spending millions worth of savings on making new content and beefing up the broadcaster's presence in regional Australia.
The board is appointed by the federal government, with Milne, who is also chairman of MYOB and a former NBNCo director, chosen for the role by his friend and former PM Malcolm Turnbull previous year.