Free

Seed money…

Back in August, Home Depot announced that its chief marketing guru, John Costello, was leaving “to pursue other business opportunities” and stories in the retail trade press said the former Yahoo (YHOO) executive was planning to launch his own company.

Although the company noted in an 8-K filed in mid-September that Costello would receive two years of salary and full vesting of his options, it didn’t flush out the details until last night when it filed this exhibit to its Q. According to the agreement, Costello began taking a “leave of absence” on Sept. 1 that extends through August 2008. But oddly, only the first two years of that leave are paid. And he doesn’t start collecting a salary for his leave until March 2006.

Still, the deal should give Costello all of the seed money he needs to start a new business. In addition to the salary continuation, there’s approximately 70,000 shares of restricted stock that vest immediately as well as additional restricted stock and options. (As of the most recent proxy, Costello had nearly 335,000 shares). Plus, the company is forgiving his $200,000 signing bonus and allowing him to keep his company car through September 2007.