Looks like Yahoo's getting serious about its new Brickhouse internal incubator. It has hired seasoned entrepreneur Salim Ismail to run the unit, according to TechCrunch. Ismail confirms the news on his blog.
Brickhouse is an effort to make Yahoo more agile, and to stem the flow of talent out of Yahoo. It was started by Flickr founder Caterina Fake inside Bradley Horowitz's Advanced Development Division (ADD). Its first product was Yahoo Pipes.
"While I've gotten used to launching startups – Confabb was number seven and I had two others in production, the opportunity to do the same thing at the world's largest internet company was too much to pass," Ismail writes in his blog.
According to Ismail, project ideas will come from inside Yahoo or from its numerous Hack Days events. Brickhouse will tackle the most promising ideas, and plans to release 4-6 new products in the coming year, he told TechCrunch.
UPDATE: Fake comments on Ismail's hire at her blog, saying it was hard to find someone with both big company know-how and entrepreneurial know-how. She also refuted TechCrunch's characterization of her as an "interim head" of the unit, noting that she would remain the strategic lead, while Ismail would take on an operational role.
In another post, Fake describes the early days of Brickhouse, and the role it is expected to play at Yahoo.