eBay is considering spinning off payment service PayPal. The company has been telling PayPal CEO candidates that such a move could take place as early as next year according to a report from The Information.

A spokesperson for eBay said the board will continue to assess all alternatives to create long-term value and to enhance the growth and competitive positions of both eBay and PayPal.

The move would certainly be a change in strategy as eBay chief John Donahoe has previously dismissed requests to jettison PayPal. Perhaps the most outspoken proponent of a split is activist investor Carl Icahn who contacted eBay back in January on the idea.

At the time, Donahoe said PayPal was instrumental to eBay's business and vice versa. He added that what the argument is missing is the very strong synergies between the two businesses and that commerce and payments are converging into one thing. As such, a split wouldn't make much sense.

Only recently did Icahn ease the pressure, saying that while he still believes a split makes sense, now isn't the right time.

PayPal, meanwhile, is still actively searching for a new CEO. If you recall, former chief David Marcus left the company last month to lead Facebook's efforts in mobile messaging. In the interim, PayPal's leadership team is to report directly to Donahoe.