Joel Matlin, face of AlarmForce and former CEO, launches new marketing firm

TORONTO – Joel Matlin, the recently ousted chief executive and face of AlarmForce Industries (TSX:AF), is taking his marketing skills elsewhere while awaiting the outcome of an ongoing battle with the company he founded 25 years ago.

Matlin has launched a full-service digital marketing firm, Matlin Creative, along with his son Adam, who was also abruptly laid off from the home-security company in July.

Joel Matlin has previously launched two startups during his career, and has been involved in marketing and advertising for decades, including at AlarmForce, which did its own ads. They featured Matlin as the familiar voice and face of the company.

“My son Adam was really instrumental in directing the marketing programs that we had in AlarmForce, along with myself,” Matlin said in an interview.

He now wants to use that experience to help existing companies better market themselves, and has began advertising his new business with radio spots airing in Toronto on Monday.

The new business, he added, is unrelated to AlarmForce or the $11.3 million wrongful dismissal company he has pending against that company.

But Matlin said that if the shareholders of AlarmForce would see fit to reinstate him and his son, that’s “obviously something that we’d seriously consider.”

“Whatever we would do in the advertising/marketing side of the business, we would continue doing that, because that’s what we did at AlarmForce,” he said.

“When the annual meeting happens, which generally happens in April, it will be up to the investors to decide because we, in all probability, will seriously consider going for board seats.”

AlarmForce announced it was firing Matlin in July, following a nearly year-long strategic review, which included the possible sale of the company but ended without a deal. Analysts speculated at the time the dismissal was likely related to the company’s failure to find a buyer.

Matlin, who was at AlarmForce’s helm since its inception in 1988, claims he was dismissed without cause or notice, which goes against the terms of his contract.

He said he was terminated ahead of a meeting to present his new vision for the company to the board of directors, and forced to leave the building without collecting his belongings. The suit also claims several of Matlin’s family members working at AlarmForce were suspended and then terminated because of their relationship with him.

None of the allegations in Matlin’s suit has been proven in court and may be challenged by the company.

AlarmForce provides security alarm monitoring, personal emergency response monitoring, video surveillance and other services in Canada and the United States.