Actually, I think for half of the examples I mentioned it was rank-and-file Google employees who forged Google's response. I've seen a bunch of examples of regular colleagues galvanizing Google to do the right thing. Often regular Googlers drag execs to the answer we think is right. :)
I think each of the four examples I mentioned did have a long-lasting effect on the company as well, e.g. the Data Liberation Front ( http://www.dataliberation.org/ ) is a natural result of the pledge not to trap users' data.