Belgian Vercauteren, who replaced Ricardo Sa Pinto in October, was dismissed on Monday after guiding the side to just two competitive wins during his time at the club.
The new man in charge is much-travelled former Porto, Benfica, Malaga and Panathinaikos boss Ferreira, who takes over a Sporting side that are 12th in the 16-team Primeira Liga, one point above the relegation zone.
The 66-year-old Ferreira was appointed as the Portuguese club's sporting director last month.
A statement on Sporting's official website read: "The board of directors have announced that Franky Vercauteren will no longer be the coach of the club's first team.
"Sporting would like to thank Franky Vercauteren for his effort and professionalism during his time with the club.
"Furthermore, Jesualdo Ferreira will now become the coach of the Sporting first team, in conjunction with his position as sporting director."