Arnold Schwarzenegger Replaces Donald Trump as Celebrity Apprentice CEO, Host

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump
Arnold Schwarzenegger is replacing Donald Trump as the CEO of Celebrity Apprentice -- get the details. Taylor Hill/FilmMagic; D Dipasupil/Getty Images

He will terminate you! Arnold Schwarzenegger will be replacing Donald Trump as the new host of The Celebrity Apprentice, NBC Universal announced on Monday, Sept. 14.

Schwarzenegger, 68, will take over the boardroom for the upcoming 2016 to 2017 season. “We are thrilled to be opening a powerful new chapter in the story of the ‘Apprentice’ franchise,” NBC Entertainment President Paul Telegdy said in a statement to Us Weekly. “Arnold Schwarzenegger is the epitome of a global brand in entertainment and business, and his accomplishments in the political arena speak for themselves. It was Arnold’s personal passion for the format that Mark Burnett and Donald Trump built over the last decade, as well as his fresh take on how to take it to new heights for today’s audiences, that made him the man to hire. The Celebrity Apprentice… will be back!”

The former governor of California was praised by the network for his business acumen, which will allow him to lead the star-studded boardroom with confidence. "Schwarzenegger served two terms as governor of California, managing more than 300,000 state employees and a state budget in the hundreds of billions," the network said in its statement. "He has successfully invested in both real estate and sports franchises, and is known to millions globally for his starring role in the Terminator film franchise. His films, over a six-decade career, have grossed billions of dollars in worldwide box office."

Schwarzenegger replaces outgoing Celebrity Apprentice CEO Trump, who helped raise $15 million-plus for charity during his stint on the reality series. "After leaving the show to run for political office, Donald made it clear that he wanted The Celebrity Apprentice to be able to continue to raise millions of dollars annually for worthy causes," the series' executive producer Mark Burnett noted. "And now NBC and I have found an amazing new leader to do just that. Gov. Schwarzenegger will use his vast and highly successful business, political and media experience to drive this hit franchise to new heights.”

While Schwarzenegger takes over hosting duties, Trump continues his bid for the 2016 presidency. The 69-year-old mogul, who has hosted the series since its inception in 2008, was dumped BY NBC this past summer after he made controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants.

Following his firing, Trump told Us Weekly in a statement: "Mr. Trump stands by his statements on illegal immigration, which are accurate. NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct — that is why our country is in serious trouble."

In the interim, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt told reporters during the TCAs last month that The Celebrity Apprentice would be on hold for one season. "Due to circumstances I'm sure everyone here is aware of regarding the host — I should say former host — we will not be producing a new edition of the show this season, but it will be back for the '16-'17 season with a new host,” Greenblatt told the crowd at the TCAs.

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