SANTA CLARA -- CEO Jed York is remaining out of the 49ers' quarterback debate.
Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick? York's answer is to defer to coach Jim Harbaugh, who chose Kaepernick to remain as the starter after Smith was knocked from the lineup due to a concussion on Nov. 11.
"I'm excited that we're leading the NFC West," York said Thursday. "I'm excited that we're winning football game. This is a very difficult business to be in, and I'm glad that I have somebody like Coach Harbaugh to make tough decisions for me."
York attended a ceremony as the 49ers stadium construction reached a significant milestone. The "topping out" ceremony commemorated the placement of two steel beams at the highest point of the stadium. The gold-painted beams were erected 200 feet to the top of the stadium tower.
York said he has not spoken to Smith about his status, nor does he ever get involved in any player's role within the team.
"Coach Harbaugh is going to make the decisions on the field," York said. "And if you want your owner and CEO to make your calls on the field, then you're probably cheering for the wrong team.
"It's Coach Harbaugh's decision. He's the head coach of the 49ers, and I trust him to make the decisions that we need to make in order to do what we can to win."
The 49ers (8-3-1) own a 1 1/2-game lead in the NFC West over the Seattle Seahawks with four regular-season games to play.