After disagreements between the President of the United States and a former FBI director, the topic that has dominated the national media discussion this week is Uber. The legendary Silicon Valley ride-sharing firm which is being used hundreds of thousands of times in the seconds it takes to read this sentence, made plenty of news this week through who it hired and who it fired as controversy swirls around the company. On top of that, a just-released book about Uber is hitting the streets this month, generating even more publicity, not all of it positive.

“Uber really doesn’t have a lot of good days,” said Adam Lashinsky, executive editor of Fortune and author of the newly-released “Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination.”

Company fires 20 employees

Lashinsky spoke with Silicon Valley media at an event on Tuesday in San Francisco.

His appearance coincided with a day in which Uber fired 20 employees following an internal investigation into charges of sexual harassment and discrimination. The following day it would be revealed that one of the fired executives violated a woman’s personal privacy by obtaining her medical records stemming from an alleged rape by one of Uber’s drivers in India.

The company also made news this week with reports about a San Francisco Uber driver who was arrested on suspicion of felony sexual battery of a passenger. This followed reports of a similar arrest in Minnesota and another wave of negative publicity after passengers in London complained that the company charged surge fares for people seeking to escape the terrorist attack last Saturday on the city’s streets. “They are really going under the microscope,” said Lashinsky.

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“One can only hope that something good will come out of it.”

The Fortune executive editor’s book about Uber almost got squashed before it could get started. Lashinsky told the press on Tuesday that Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, threatened to hire a competing author to write the company’s story and refused to cooperate. However, Kalanick later relented and gave Lashinsky hours of one-on-one interviews which are incorporated into the book.

The portrait that emerges in Lashinsky’s book is a CEO who is fiercely driven to succeed and has remained largely unchanged since he began his career in the tech industry. Kalanick originally started Scour, a multimedia search engine, in 1998 and then formed the peer-to-peer file sharing company Red Swoosh in 2001. The author pointed out at Tuesday’s event that Kalanick built his first two companies using computers he didn’t own, a model that he would duplicate with even greater success by founding Uber through reliance on other people’s cars.

Lashinsky said that he first met Kalanick in 2010, the year that Uber was officially launched with an initial $1.25 million in seed funding.

The company has an estimated valuation now of $68 billion. “I think he’s the same guy today as the one in 2010,” said Lashinsky.

Uber hires two high-profile female executives

Despite the overwhelming run of bad news surrounding Uber, Kalanick is showing that he’s willing to do what it takes to change the company culture. Uber also announced this week that two female executives would be joining the firm. Bozoma Saint John, formerly with Apple, will become Uber’s chief brand officer. And Harvard Business School Professor Frances Frei has been hired as the company’s senior vice president for leadership and strategy. “It’s like they’ve done multiple organ transplants and we’ll have to see if any of them take,” said Lashinsky.

In the new book, Lashinsky includes a description of his own experience as an Uber driver, slapping a decal on his windshield, powering up the app, and driving the streets. At the end, the Fortune editor comes to a conclusion that has been echoed by others. “Driving for Uber is a tough way to make a living,” he wrote. As this week’s news has shown, it’s also a tough way to run a company.