EBay will cut 2,400 jobs, or 7% of its staff, in the first quarter as it prepares to split from its PayPal business later in the year.

EBay is cutting 7% of its workforce

The ecommerce giant revealed the job cuts despite it unveiling fourth-quarter results that topped analysts’ expectations.

EBay chief executive John Donahoe said the etailer was taking decisive action in order to address the opportunities and challenges it faces.

He added: “To that end, we’re streamlining our cost structure and portfolio as we set up eBay and PayPal to succeed as independent, public companies.

“This was a difficult decision. Eliminating jobs is never easy. But it is necessary to reduce complexity and create more competitive cost structures.”

Despite the challenges it faces, eBay increased gross merchandise volume, which measures all sales on the website excluding automotive, real estate and classifieds, by 9% during the fourth quarter.

During the quarter active buyers rose by 11% globally to £155m.

Donahoe said: “At eBay Marketplaces, following the series of challenges experienced in 2014, [eBay Marketplaces president] Devin Wenig and team are moving aggressively, with clear priorities to improve traffic, deliver strong product experiences, and manage our cost structure.”

Alongside the job cuts, the company is also exploring a sale or IPO for its eBay Enterprise unit.

Donahoe believes eBay Enterprise, which creates and runs websites for retailers, is a “good business but it has become clear that it has increasingly divergent opportunities and limited synergies with eBay”.

EBay decided to spin off PayPal in September despite Donahoe initially resisting pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who argued the decision would give the etailer more flexibility to strike deals in the payments space.

Donahoe said: “I strongly believe that separation is the right path for our company, and we remain deeply committed to doing what’s best for our business, shareholders and customers.”