Redfearn has been made caretaker boss after the 2-1 defeat to Bradford City in the Capital One Cup proved the final straw for owner Massimo Cellino, who had initially said he was going to sack Hockaday on Saturday.
Hockaday has gone after only six games in charge of the Championship club - winning two and losing four - but the manner of those defeats made him a target for the fans, who made their feelings clear that they thought he was out of his depth.
Assistant manager Junior Lewis has also been dismissed, with Redfearn taking over until a permanent replacement is appointed.
Hockaday, 56, was a surprise choice to replace Brian McDermott in June when chosen because of his coaching credentials rather than his only managerial experience at non-league Forest Green.
But the gamble has not paid off and Leeds supporters are now hoping Cellino will turn to a bigger name or a more experienced manager.
Cellino admitted he had done a U-turn after reprieving Hockaday at the weekend.
He said: “The results since the start of the season have meant we needed to act and make this decision.
“After the defeat at Bradford I realised that my decision to keep David at the club following the defeat at Watford was wrong and I had to change my mind on the coaches’ position.
“As a club we will now begin our search for a new head coach.”