The former Watford, Cardiff and Wigan manager will combine both jobs and take the team for the 9 November friendly against Netherlands at Pittodrie.
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan made the announcement on Friday, speaking at a press conference in which he admitted it was a time for a change after Strachan's disappointing reign.
He added: "Ultimately we're in a results business and we had a manager in place for nearly five years". The former Everton and Manchester United manager has been made favourite by the bookmakers to replace Gordon Strachan, if the current Scotland manager quits.
From a desperate low of 67th at the start of this year, the managerless Scots will be 29th in the World when Federation Internationale de Football Association announce their positions later this month - a massive rise of 38 places.
Former Cardiff boss Mackay was a controversial appointment as performance director in December a year ago after being the subject of an 11-month probe into a series of text messages.
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"Malky's the performance director", he said.
"To be fair to Malky he has responded to the board's request". As far as Malky is concerned, he will then focus on his performance responsibilities.
Strachan said: "I said on my first day as Scotland manager that it was the proudest moment of my career and that I wanted to put a smile back on the nation's face again. Whoever is the best candidate can throw their hat in the ring and, if they are the best candidate, we'll select them for the job". "We want someone capable of getting to Euro 2020".
"We believe we can compete [financially] to get the right person for the manager's job".