Whose Job is Harder, a Fortune 500 CEO or an NFL Coach? Professionals Weigh in Via Korn Ferry Survey in Advance of Sunday’s Big Game

-- Respondents Say Chiefs’ Head Coach Reid Would be Better CEO Than 49ers’ Shanahan –

-- Professionals Choose 49ers’ Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as a Better CEO than Chiefs’ Mahomes --

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- As sports fans across the globe gear up for this weekend’s massive matchup of the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers, a Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey of professionals pits football against corporate life.

When asked whose job is harder, an NFL head coach or a Fortune 500 CEO, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) said Fortune 500 CEO. And even though they believe it’s more difficult, 54 percent of the professionals said they’d rather be a Fortune 500 CEO than an NFL head coach.

The survey also dug into the leadership characteristics of the head coaches of the two teams headed into this weekend’s game. When asked who would be a better CEO of a Fortune 500 company, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) picked the Kansas City Chiefs’ Andy Reid over the San Francisco 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan.

When asked who they would prefer as a boss, 61 percent chose Reid over Shanahan, and 53 percent said Reid gets the most out of the talent on his team.

“This survey shows that the best boss is someone who can not only galvanize efforts to win against the competition, but one who can help each and every person on the team excel and reach their full potential,” said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry Global Head of Leadership Development. “The most effective leaders – in the corporate boardroom and on the football field – understand how to develop and encourage talent to rise above the rest.”

When asked which Super Bowl-bound coach is the most optimistic, 59 percent chose the 49ers’ Shanahan.

When looking at the quarterbacks getting ready for the big game and how they’d likely perform in the corporate world, 58 percent said the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo would be a better corporate CEO than the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.

Two-thirds (66 percent) said the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is the best team player. In fact, 51 percent said Mahomes will be the highest performer at the Super Bowl, followed by Nick Bosa at 14 percent and George Kittle and Travis Kelce, both at 10 percent.

When asked which team will win the Super Bowl, 69 percent of the respondents said the Kansas City Chiefs.

“It’s clear that an incredible amount of work, passion, and preparation has brought both teams to one of the biggest matchups in sports,” said Baltzley. “As corporate professionals around the world take in Sunday’s Super Bowl, we should all be inspired to bring that type of energy, enthusiasm, and world-class team play back to work with us on Monday.”

About the survey

The Korn Ferry survey of professionals took place in January 2020 and garnered 520 responses.

Survey Responses:

Whose job is more difficult, an NFL head coach or the CEO of a Fortune 500


NFL head coach

37 percent

CEO of a Fortune 500 company

63 percent


Which would you rather be?

An NFL head coach

46 percent

CEO of a Fortune 500 company

54 percent


Which NFL coach would make the best corporate CEO?

Andy Reid

64 percent

Kyle Shanahan

36 percent


Which coach gets the most out of his talent?

Andy Reid

53 percent

Kyle Shanahan

47 percent


Which NFL quarterback would make the best corporate CEO?

Patrick Mahomes

42 percent

Jimmy Garoppolo

58 percent


Which quarterback is the best team player?

Patrick Mahomes

66 percent

Jimmy Garoppolo

44 percent


Which player will be the highest performer at the Super Bowl?

Patrick Mahomes

51 percent

Tyreek Hill

8 percent

Travis Kelce

10 percent

Jimmy Garoppolo

7 percent

George Kittle

10 percent

Nick Bosa

14 percent


Of the two coaches, who would you want to be your boss?

Andy Reid

61 percent

Kyle Shanahan

39 percent


Which coach is more optimistic?

Andy Reid

41 percent

Kyle Shanahan

59 percent


Which team will win the Super Bowl?

Kansas City Chiefs

69 percent

San Francisco 49ers

31 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. And, we help professionals navigate and advance their careers.


Tracy Kurschner

Source: Korn Ferry