SAN DIEGO -

San Diego Padres president and CEO Mike Dee said the club is looking for a general manager who can lead the franchise for a decade following Sunday's firing of GM Josh Byrnes.

"Selecting the next general manager is an enormously important decision," Dee said following the Padres' 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday afternoon after Byrnes was dismissed earlier in the day.

"We're moving in another direction. The search for a new general manager begins immediately. We are looking for someone who can define, direct and lead this franchise's baseball philosophy for years to come.

"We've defined a list of preliminary candidates, but we don't want to put a shot clock on it."

In the interim, three existing Padres executives will share the position of Padres general manager -- senior vice president of baseball operations Omar Minaya and assistant general managers AJ Hinch and Fred Uhlman Jr.

Dee said Byrnes' dismissal was "not only the result of the Padres (32-44) record."

"This was not a decision made in a day or two or a week or two," Dee said. "We've seen some things over the past couple of months. Other factors aside from the team's performance contributed to this decision.

"I think Josh knew how things were going. It was not a total shock. There were things on the last road trip. We know the fans have had a tough season to endure."

Executive chairman Ron Fowler called the decision to replace Byrnes a "reset" and said this does not signal a fire sale before the July 31 trading deadline.

"This is a move toward the middle," Fowler said of the decision to seek a new general manager.

Byrnes had served the Padres as general manager since October, 2011. Byrnes joined the Padres in December of 2010 as senior vice president of baseball operations. He became the general manager when then-GM Jed Hoyer was allowed to take the same position with the Chicago Cubs.

Byrnes was hired in 2010 and promoted in 2011 by then CEO Jeff Moorad. Byrnes previously served Moorad as the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2005-2010. During his tenure, the Diamondbacks won the National League West title in 2007.

Byrnes was retained by the Padres when the present ownership took control in 2012.

"This ownership group is committed to fielding a team that consistently competes for postseason play," Dee said. "Thus far this season, the results on the field have been mixed at best and clearly have not lived up to expectations.

"After a lengthy evaluation of every facet of our baseball operations, we have decided to make this change today."

Expected to contend for a National League wild-card berth by many experts before the season, the Padres entered Sunday with a 32-43 record and were fourth in the National League West. They rank near the bottom of most Major League offensive categories and rank last in batting average (.215), on-base percentage (.275), slugging percentage (.341) and runs scored (224).

The Padres' team batting average is 36 points below the major league average while they have produced 43 fewer runs than the next-worst mark in the majors.

In addition to subpar performances by position players, the Padres have been hit hard by injuries. First baseman Yonder Alonso (right wrist) and second baseman Jedd Gyorko (plantar fasciitis in his left foot) are currently on the disabled list.

For the third straight season, left fielder Carlos Quentin, who got a contract extension in 2012 through 2015, is spending most of his time out of the lineup with knee problems. And third baseman Chase Headley had an epidural this past week to fight the pain associated with a herniated disk.