AlarmForce names third CEO in less than two years

Toronto-based company has yet to resolve suit brought by Joel Matlin
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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

TORONTO—Graham Badun is the new president and CEO of AlarmForce Industries, its third leader in less than two years.

Badun, with a background in real estate services and hired as the result of an executive search, replaces Anthony Pizzonia, who had been with AlarmForce for 23 years.

“I see this as a great opportunity to take this brand and make it stronger,” Badun told Security Systems News. “The company is excited, the board is excited. I’m looking forward to learning new components of the industry.”

AlarmForce is a super-regional that provides security alarm monitoring, personal emergency response monitoring, video surveillance and related services to residential and commercial subscribers throughout Canada and the United States. It is Canada’s second largest security company, based here, with 100,000 Canadian installations and another 45,000 in the United States, Badun said.

Badun founded Westport Partners, a Toronto-based advisory firm focused on the real estate services sector in North America. Before that, he was group CEO of Brookfield Residential Property Services, a division of Brookfield Asset Management, where he worked from 1998 until 2012.

He needs to “get smarter” about the residential security industry, Badun told SSN in an interview during his first few days on the job. From what he knows already, however, he’s optimistic about what the future holds.

“I see an industry in transition, there’s tremendous growth potential,” he said, adding that as CEO of AlarmForce he will take “a fresh look at everything we do.”

“We think we can be a lot bigger,” Badun said. While it’s too early in his tenure to talk about buying other companies, he said, future acquisitions are not out of the question.

“I’ve got a clean sheet of paper and a strong growth mandate from the board, and the clear message is ‘how do we get bigger,’ ” he said.

Badun’s predecessor, Pizzonia, had served as AlarmForce CFO before taking over when company founder and CEO Joel Matlin was ousted in the summer of 2013

Matlin told Security Systems News that he was “sorry to hear that Anthony has left AlarmForce.”

Matlin previously told SSN that his termination was the result of “a mutiny created by my CFO, Anthony Pizzonia.” 

Matlin sued the company in 2013 for more than $11.3 million, alleging he was wrongfully dismissed and that his ouster by the board of directors was due to age discrimination. He was 65 at the time. 

“We’re just waiting for a court date,” Matlin told SSN.

Badun declined to comment on the pending lawsuit. “I’m not involved in that. It’s the board’s responsibility,” he said.

The company has called Matlin’s allegations “erroneous” and “inflammatory” and said it will defend itself against his lawsuit.

Still, Matlin said in a phone interview with SSN, Pizzonia’s “departure leaves a void in [AlarmForce’s] management’s vision for the future.”

He agreed with Badun about the learning curve.

“It will take the new CEO time to understand the AlarmForce business along with the competitive landscape. I wish the new CEO well, as I think fondly of the staff.”

Matlin, after a one-year non-compete clause, is preparing to launch a new company, Think Protection, in June.

In late April AlarmForce announced that it had been awarded the Central Station Alarm Association Five Diamond Central Station Certification.