Your reference is too far removed
While it may look good on paper to list the chief executive of your former company as a reference, it will do you no good in practice if he cant recall who you are. A stellar reference from a personal friend also doesnt hold much water.
Hiring managers want to speak to people who served as your direct supervisor on a daily basis, whether it is a manager or a client for whom you worked. The persons role should be pertinent to your position to offer the most thorough and helpful review.