This question is about the power of PhD advisors on industry job (non-research) applications. I did not get along well with my former PhD advisor. I was able to defend and graduate; however, I have learned that my advisor was giving bad recommendation letters. This is the reason why my postdoctoral applications were all unsuccessful even though I have good academic standing. Since we had several intense arguments in the past, I can conclude with confidence that any reference from my advisor would be damaging.
I am wondering how I can minimize my advisor damage in the recruitment process of industry job applications. I do not know how references work in industry, but I can certainly exclude my advisor in any list throughout a recruitment process. My PhD advisor also has several connections in HR. This can also be damaging if a company background-checks through the university HR department. Also, I can mitigate my advisor influence by working for a short period in places that do no have thorough recruitment process.