May 17 (Reuters) - Tesla's chair of the board said the company needs to climb "Mount Everest" as it faces shareholder votes on relocating to Texas and CEO Elon Musk's $56 billion pay deal, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

Robyn Denholm, who has held Tesla's chairperson position since 2018, also dismissed criticism that she is too close to Musk, according to the report.

Last month, Denholm asked shareholders to reaffirm their approval of Musk's record-breaking $56 billion compensation that was rejected by a Delaware judge in January.

The board is in early days of the campaign and will meet with shareholders all the way through to the day of the vote, Denholm told the Financial Times.

The largest pay package in corporate America has no salary or cash bonus and sets rewards based on Tesla's market value rising to as much as $650 billion over the next 10 years from 2018.

"Every shareholder that I've ever talked to says that (the compensation plan) worked, Denholm said, adding that they appreciate that it drove a lot of shareholder value, according to the report.

Tesla's board has repeatedly come under fire for its close ties with the billionaire.

After the original pay package was voided by Judge Kathaleen McCormick of Delaware's Court of Chancery, Musk sought to move Tesla's state of incorporation to Texas from Delaware. (Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)