Arnold W. Donald
Arnold W. Donald (Courtesy of

Donald Trump has presented the nation with its newest black business celebrity: Arnold W. Donald.

Donald, who was featured in recent episodes of “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” earns $1 million a year as chief executive officer and president of Carnival Corporation and Cruise lines.

Hardly an apprentice, Donald grew up in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, one of the city’s poorest, crime-infested neighborhoods, but in the two years he’s been at Carnival, he has streamlined operations and grown the company’s market cap from roughly $25 billion to about $37 billion, CNN reported. Prior to that, he spent roughly two decades at Monsanto before joining a group of investors who bought the company’s Equal sugar substitute division to form Merisant, which he ran for three years.

In his first year as CEO, Donald partnered with comedian Cedric the Entertainer to market all nine of Carnival Corporation’s brands in a major way. The company has a long-running deal with famed radio jock Tom Joyner’s “Fantastic Voyage” party-cruise series, which sails this year from Miami.

The average cruise ship passenger capacity is about 3,000 guests. While blacks don’t have a long history in the cruise industry, anyone who had a television set starting in 1977 remembers the long-running ABC television series “The Love Boat” that followed the exploits of guests and the crew and life on a cruise ship. These days, the industry forecasts over 20 million passengers cruising globally each year.

Since 2013, Donald has run Carnival Corp., a Miami-based subsidiary of the American-British Company Carnival Corporation & plc. The company is worth $37.8 billion and has 12,400 employees.

Donald has been president and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & plc since 2013. Prior to that, he was president and chief executive officer of the Executive Leadership Council, a professional network of African-American executives of major U.S. companies that aims to increase the number of successful black executives both domestically and internationally.

He has industry expertise in the agriculture, biochemical, chemicals and service sectors for over 30 years.

In 1998, he received the Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award. In 1999, he received the Eagle Award from the National Eagle Leadership Institute and in 2000 he received the Black Engineers President’s Award. He was recognized by the agricultural industry as Agri-Marketer of the Year in 1996. In 1997, he was named Executive of the Year by Black Enterprise Magazine. Donald received an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1980, a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 1977 and a B.A. Degree in Economics from Carleton College in 1976.

Donald served as a senior executive at Monsanto Company in St. Louis, and joined in 1977, where he served various positions over 23 years, including as president at Monsanto’s Nutrition and Consumer sectors and Senior Vice president of the parent company.

From 2000 to 2005, Donald was chairman of the Board of Merisant Company, a manufacturer and marketer of tabletop sweetener products, including the Equal and Canderel brands. From 1998 to 2000, he was senior vice president of Monsanto Company, a company which develops agricultural products and consumer goods, and president of its nutrition and consumer sector. Prior to that he was president of Monsanto Company’s agricultural sector.

Donald is a recognized and respected figure among African-Americans. As he told nearly 1,000 women at Black Enterprise’s Women of Power Summit, “Always maximize the probability of success.”

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via

William Reed

William Reed is President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Press International. He has been a Media Entrepreneur for over two decades. A well-trained marketing and communications professional, Reed...

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