As the creator of the mega franchise and a judge on Britain's Got Talent, he's well qualified to be on the panel for the 11th series of the NBC talent contest.
Announcing the big news, Simon said: "I am really thrilled. What I love about this show is that it's open to absolutely anyone. America has some fantastic talent just waiting to be discovered, and I would like that talent to come to our show, including any dogs who can sing!"
NBC's Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt added: "Simon knows this format better than anyone and he's been producing the show with us since the beginning, so we're thrilled to have him to step in front of the camera and take his rightful place at the head of the judges' panel. We welcome him to the onscreen NBC family."
Simon created the Got Talent format back in 2006 and its become the most successful TV format of all time, with franchises all around the world.
He will continue as an executive producer on AGT in addition to his on-camera role.
Fellow exec producer Trish Kinane said: "Quite simply, Simon Cowell is one of the best judges of talent in the world. He has a brilliant ability to identify acts with raw talent and develop them into superstars. We are delighted to have Simon's honest critique at the judges table for season 11 of AGT, entertaining audiences and sparking conversation as we search for America's next great talent."
This is Simon's return to US TV following the cancellation of X Factor USA after three series and his departure from American Idol.
His appointment to the panel came as previous judge Howard Stern left the show following four series on the panel. The other judges are Simon's old X Factor co-judge Mel B, model Heidi Klum and US comedian Howie Mandel.