"ebay and PayPal will be sharper and stronger, and more focused and competitive as leading, standalone companies in their respective markets," eBay CEO John Donahoe said in a statement on the move, announced early Tuesday morning. "As independent companies, eBay and PayPal will enjoy added flexibility to pursue new market and partnership opportunities."
The split is something that activist eBay investor Carl Icahn has been fighting for since earlier this year, arguing that separating the eBay online marketplaces from PayPal would not only return value to shareholders, but would also make both companies stronger. At the time, Donahoe insisted that such a split didn't make sense for either company, telling ReCode back in January: "I'd say commerce and payments are converging, not diverging." But now, Donahoe and company are changing course.