Bowley, 50, will attempt to build a recruitment practice for Kendall Tarrant across the media industry, covering media owners, content companies, agencies and suppliers.
Reporting to Gay Haines, Kendall Tarrant's head of search, Bowley will concentrate on the London market, before looking to build media across its global operations.
Since leaving Carlton in 2004, Bowley has launched the TV content company Amplified, part-backed by Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, and worked on projects for Northern & Shell, including creating TV channels and the launch of OK! in the US.
Bowley said: "I have a massive contacts book and, apart from selling insurance, I couldn't find anything better I could use my experience in."
Kendall Tarrant, which launched in 1979, now operates globally and is owned by Hat Pin plc.