Business troubles at Yahoo! haven't changed the fact that the company has some of the most innovative Open Web advocates in the industry in its ranks, but today one of those innovative people has left. API wizard Kent Brewster told us last night that he's joining Netflix as the company's newest API developer and evangelist. He'll start there at the top of next month.

Brewster's title at Yahoo! was Technology Evangelist and Front-End Engineer, a position he took almost 5 years ago after an amazing 18 years at WebMD and its predecessors. Job changes like this are what we cover on our Jobwire site.

We met Brewster when he announced his fabulous BlogJuice widget. That bit of code queries Yahoo's MyBlogLog API with the click of a button and displays LinkedIn, Delicious, Flickr and other data about the most recent MyBlogLog users who have visited any participating blog. Brewster has lots of other dazzling lightweight projects up on his personal blog as well.

Netflix has one of the most exciting APIs on the web, including two way read/write access, password-free OAuth user authentication for third party applications and a huge base of users. (Disclosure: That API is powered by RWW sponsor Mashery, though the sponsorship relationship began well after we reviewed the Netflix API.)

The company has a strong commitment to developers; nothing being better evidence than the $1 million Netflix Prize for any shop that can build a substantially better recommendation engine than what the company already has.

As fans of cutting-edge developer innovation, we're very excited to see what Kent Brewster can do in his new position.

Photo CC by Yodel Anecdotal.