Greene King has said it is "taking time to listen and learn" and vowed to invest in improving its diversity and inclusion in the future.
The company was founded in 1799 by Benjamin Greene who, after founding the brewery, went on to own cane sugar plantations in the West Indies where he was a slave owner. Following a report in The Telegraph, the brewer has since updated its website to reflect this. The group has 2,700 pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK.
Nick Mackenzie, Greene King's chief executive, said: "It is inexcusable that one of our founders profited from slavery and argued against its abolition in the 1800s. While that is a part of our history, we are now focused on the present and the future. Today, I am proud that we employ 38,000 people across the UK from all backgrounds and that racism and discrimination have no place at Greene King.
"We don't have all the answers, so that is why we are taking time to listen and learn from all the voices, including our team members and charity partners as we strengthen our diversity and inclusion work. We plan to make a substantial investment to benefit the BAME community and support our race diversity in the business as we increase our focus on targeted work in this area."
The news comes days after a JD Wetherspoon pub confirmed it was considering changing names and imagery associated with racism and slavery, following recent Black Lives Matter protests.