De Zerbi - who signed a two-year contract worth a reported €500,000 per season - will not be available for Saturday's clash against Napoli as a result of a previous suspension.
The appointment comes just two matches into the 2016-17 season, which is a bit early even for Palermo's standards. The first of last season's nine coaching changes came in November, when Giuseppe Iachini was replaced by Ballardini.
It was also the first of Ballardini's two stints in charge of the Rosanero over a tumultuous campaign in which they narrowly avoided relegation. He was fired and then rehired in extraordinary circumstances, as Palermo's players famously fell out with the 52-year-old towards the end of his first spell in January.
Ballardini officially left the club by mutual consent, although La Gazzetta dello Sport indicates he decided to resign in protest of the club's transfer activity.
Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini did manage to swing seven summer signings - including Serie A veteran and former Italy international Alessandro Diamanti - but Ballardini reportedly wanted another striker.
"Ballardini is not satisfied? I don't care. I consider him a great coach, but it is useless to keep him against his will," said Zamparini, the trigger-happy owner who's made a habit of flipping managers with little or no reason.
There is, however, reason for fans to be excited about De Zerbi. He's developed a brand of attacking football during his time in the lower tiers of Italian football.