Unfortunately, when you obtain a recommendation from someone because of his/her title and not because they actually know you and your work, the result is a vague endorsement. Consequently, the admissions committee will not get to know you better through this individual’s recommendation letter, and this undermines the very purpose of recommendations. Even if you can educate someone far above you in the corporate hierarchy about your achievements and he/she can write a seemingly personal letter, it still will not make sense that a CEO, for example, knows what you—one of hundreds of employees—are doing on a daily basis. So the intimacy of this person’s letter just might seem absurd. Of course, if your CEO does actually know you and can write a personal letter that makes a logical connection between your position and his/hers, that could be helpful.
Rather than focusing on titles when considering possible sources for your recommendations, strive to identify an individual who knows you well and can write about your strengths—and even your weaknesses—with sincerity. If your supervisor has a less than impressive title, this will not reflect negatively on you; what will matter is what he/she writes about you. If that person can discuss your performance while providing powerful examples of standout achievements, he/she will help you to the fullest.