Yahoo To Close Brickhouse By End Of Year

Yahoo Brickhouse, the two year old San Francisco based Yahoo business unit to foster new product development, is to be shut down by the end of the year, says a source. The announcement may be as early as Wednesday.

The unit has managed to launch some quality (or at least thought provoking) applications like Pipes, FireEagle, Live (deadpooled) and BravoNation.

But Brickhouse has also had a revolving door at the top (mirroring the general executive exodus from Yahoo). The group was originally led by Salim Ismail and Flickr cofounder Caterina Fake – neither remain at Yahoo. Next up was Chad Dickerson, who left to join Etsy in June 2008. The current lead is former Jumpcut CEO Mike Folgner.

It was always a little unclear exactly where Brickhouse began and Yahoo ended. Yahoo has other innovation groups, such as the Advanced Products Group, which launched Kickstart a year ago. And why would a company create and promote aculture where innovation is only supposedly coming from one group. Innovation should be embedded into the very fabric of Yahoo in general, not outsourced to a small group of people in San Francisco.

We’ll update as we hear from back from Yahoo.