Uzbekistan's official UzA news agency says Karimov, in his October 19 address to the local parliament, lamented the eastern region's economic hardships before announcing his decision to dismiss Normatov.
The Uzbek leader reportedly criticized the outgoing governor for failing to create new jobs, attract foreign investors, or meet cotton-output targets.
Karimov last week also cited economic reasons when he sacked the governor of neighboring Andijon Region, Saydullo Begaliev.
Both regions are part of the larger Ferghana Valley, an area that spans the territories of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, and that regional governments portray as a hotbed of religious extremism.
Uzbek security forces last year crushed a popular uprising in the city of Andijon, killing hundreds of unarmed civilians, according to independent accounts.
RFE/RL Central Asia Report
SUBSCRIBE For regular news and analysis on all five Central Asian countries by e-mail, subscribe to "RFE/RL Central Asia Report."