Some things just don’t make sense – like poverty in a land of plenty or home-grown terrorists shooting up schools and concerts or the notion of “beautiful, clean coal.”

The corporate world is not immune to such nonsense, as we saw a few months ago when ZF CEO Stefan Sommer resigned suddenly from Germany’s fastest-growing automotive supplier. He had been driving the train at high speed – and then he wasn’t.

His replacement was named recently: Wolf-Hennig Scheider, who had been chairman and CEO of another major German supplier, Mahle, since 2015 and brings three decades of experience to the job. His public debut will be March 22 at the annual meeting in Friedrichshafen.

Scheider steps into a hornet’s nest at ZF, where he will find he doesn’t answer strictly to shareholders or a board of management or even the company’s 140,000 employees worldwide.

There’s really only one boss Scheider needs to keep happy: Andreas Brand, the mayor of Friedrichshafen, a city of 60,000 people in southern Germany that is home to ZF and the Zeppelin Foundation, which owns 93% of the company.

As the town mayor, Brand is a member of the supervisory board that controls the foundation. It’s stipulated that the mayor has no power over daily operations at ZF. But the simple truth is he wields enormous influence over every aspect of the company because he can force immediate change at the highest levels of management with shocking speed, as we saw recently.

Brand and Sommer did not get along, and the disagreements intensified as the mayor opposed certain acquisition bids led by Sommer. Brand also voiced concerns about the company’s debt load and its impact on city coffers.

As mayor, Brand has been concerned about the town’s future and job opportunities. Like many other European and American cities, Friedrichshafen has lost manufacturing jobs as industries have found it increasingly difficult to compete with operations in low-cost parts of the world, whether in Eastern Europe, Mexico or Asia.

Like every major supplier, ZF has participated in this transformation, keeping thousands of blue-collar jobs in the home market while also setting up shop elsewhere when that makes better economic sense. Brand wanted more manufacturing jobs at home.

Perhaps he does not understand the auto industry’s need for “just-in-time” shipping of components so vehicles can be assembled quickly and efficiently, without piling up expensive inventory of parts waiting to be installed.

It’s for this very reason ZF and so many others have vast networks of assembly operations in China, where vehicle sales are much more robust than in Friedrichshafen, Detroit or any other city with a long history of manufacturing.

Automakers are susceptible to these same market swings. Just talk to General Motors about its financially draining experience with Opel, which it sold to PSA, or in Korea, where its Gunsan vehicle-assembly plant is slated for closure later this year because it is grossly underused. Consider Adelaide, Australia, where ZF opened an axle plant in 2007, only to close it within a decade as vehicle assemblers left the country.

These are wrenchingly difficult situations and the loss of jobs is not to be taken lightly. But companies must be nimble and do what’s best for the bottom line.