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PayPal’s Future Still in Play

Activist investor Carl Icahn’s quest to compel eBay to spin off its PayPal unit ended with a whimper in April. But the maneuvering over PayPal, a giant in the red-hot payments sector, seems to be just beginning.

Ebay has been telling potential recruits for the position of PayPal CEO that it’s considering spinning off the payments business as soon as next year, according to two people briefed on the conversations. The search for a new head of the unit began in June after former PayPal CEO David Marcus said he was leaving for Facebook.

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At this rate, eBay will be less than 20 percent of PayPal's volume within five years and it will be in the low teens within a decade.