eBay creates payments team in anticipation of PayPal spin-off

With eBay Inc. spinning off PayPal and eBay Enterprise later in the year, here’s some interesting news: eBay (as in the marketplaces bit) has created a payments team and is hiring talent from Apple apparently with the express purpose of developing payments technology.

First of all, chief product officer RJ Pittman (a 2013 hire from Apple) has been charged with leading a new payments unit within eBay and he has poached Bora Chung from Apple (she is also a PayPal veteran). SFgate.com reported this story and has more details.

This raises lots of questions. Could it be that eBay will be ditching PayPal post divorce to bring payments on the marketplace back in-house? It would be a bold move and potentially a huge disruption to sellers. And it would be impossible to imagine that eBay could launch anything before the split occurs in the third quarter of this year.

And it does, of course, put into relief the decision to spin off PayPal in the first place. If eBay needs a payments division, why sell off the best one in the world? Oh wait. Shareholder value.