Shoval replaces Mitch Levy, a founding partner of Spirit, who left in July to become the executive creative director of Joshua.
While at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia, Shoval worked across the Hanes, US Trust and Newspaper Association of America accounts. Before that the Israeli-born Shoval spent a year at Hal Riney in San Francisco at the height of the dotcom boom. In 1997 he ran the PGA Tour and SouthWestern Bell accounts at GSD&M in Texas, and between 1995 and 1997 he worked at Wells Rich Greene BDDP in New York, where he helped the agency win the Heineken account.
Before his time in America, Shoval had ditched a music career in Paris to join Young & Rubicam. He spent five years between 1990 and 1995 working on Nintendo, Xerox and AT&T, rising to become the agency's European creative director.
Shoval said: "It's amazing how long you can stay in America because one thing leads to another. But I wanted to return to the UK and this is a chance to mould the agency culture and build something. The agency is very hungry and I find that exciting."
Richard Hammond, Spirit's managing partner, added: "Alon's experience to date on both sides of the Atlantic is perfect in terms of matching our clients' ambitions on a European level."