Former Cobblers boss Chris Wilder appointed by Watford after Slaven Billic's sacking
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Wilder, now 55, is the third different man in at Vicarage Road this season following Rob Edwards and Slaven Bilic, who was sacked on Tuesday after just six months in charge.
Watford technical director Ben Manga said: “We are all ambitious to succeed this season, so something new is needed quickly while the opportunity of promotion is still real.
“With the January transfer window over, to change coach is the only option available to re-energise for the final games ahead.”
Wilder famously led Northampton to the League Two title in 2015/16 before winning two promotions with boyhood club Sheffield United. He then led the Blades to eighth place in the Premier League.
His most recent job came at Middlesbrough earlier this season and now returns to the Championship with Watford, who are challenging for the play-offs.