eBay in payments poaching panic in preparation for PayPal split

eBay and PayPal will split into two entities sometime this year, in a move to make both services public companies on the stock market and split the company's goals.

In preparation for the split, eBay has been poaching talent from Apple and Google over the past few months to work on a new payments team.

The team is lead by RJ Pittman, ex-chief of e-commerce at Apple and product management leader at Google. Pittman is assembling a team from previous friends and some of the biggest names in the industry.

Another Apple employee Bora Chung has come over to the team, previously working on global payment technology at Cupertino. Chung worked at PayPal for a period under chief of staff Dana Stalder, before moving to a venture capital firm as an analyst.

The push to create a talent driven payments team shows the potential split between eBay and PayPal, removing a lot of the communication, shared projects and goals.

Since PayPal may push another way, eBay needs to make sure it can handle payments on mobile, wearable and desktop without an issue. It also needs to shake off the "auction only" brand label it currently has, if it wants to compete with Amazon and Alibaba.

eBay has been in a tight spot for a few years now, leading to the split between two entities. eBay originally bought PayPal for $1.5 billion (£990 million) in 2002, integrating the payments solution into eBay's service.

Even though eBay could be self-sufficient, analysts project PayPal is a major reason why eBay continues to achieve an operating profit. PayPal on its own might become a formidable opponent to payment services like Apple Pay and even major banks like VISA.

It is not clear how much creative freedom PayPal was able to have under the reign of eBay, but now with the split the PayPal executives can enact real change.